During the 1970s Britain experienced social-economic instability and the streets became an arena of race riots, violent attacks against women, and workers’ strikes. The streets were also graffitied with politicized slogans. This chapter analyzes photographs by feminist and Black photographers documenting graffiti that expressed two political voices: the feminist movement and the anti-racist movement. The political and practical intersections between feminist and anti-racist graffiti are situated within the time’s historical events and feminist and political debates. Feminist graffiti is explored in relation to the second-wave British women’s movement’s emergence and the radical feminist backlash against sexual violence against women. Anti-racist graffiti is contextualized within the aftermath of the post-war Commonwealth immigration and the Black contestation of police control over Black neighborhoods. Given the distinct politicization of photography in 1970s Britain, I argue that photography was integral to graffiti intervention. Drawing on performativity and affect theories, I examine the significance of the graffiti photographs’ circulation in feminist and alternative publications and underscore that graffiti was an act of changing the city through creativity and play. Thus, feminist graffiti and anti-racist graffiti reclaimed urban space, exposed its gendered and racial power relations, and transformed it into a spectacular site of disruption and disobedience.
|Title of host publication||Art and Activism in the Age of Systemic Crisis|
|Subtitle of host publication||Aesthetic Resilience|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2020|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (all)
- Social Sciences (all)