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Keywords:

  • discourse;
  • Graffiti Hurts;
  • landscape inscription

Abstract.

Dominant ideology influences political identity, not only through the production of icons and material artifacts but also through attempts to control and eliminate alternative cultural expressions, such as graffiti. Antigraffiti campaigns seek to define notions of legitimacy and appropriateness in urban landscapes. Inscribing graffiti is an inherently spatial practice, one that provides opportunities for alternative expression. These expressions question the power and authority of dominant sociospatial practices and broaden definitions of citizenship and political appropriateness. In this article we analyze Graffiti Hurts, an organization devoted to the eradication of graffiti, in detail. By framing graffitists as outsiders and criminals, Graffiti Hurts seeks to justify the erasure of graffiti, and in so doing it reinforces exclusionary representations of culture, community, and landscape.