Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Ted Swedenburg

Committee Member

Jonathan Marion

Second Committee Member

Kirstin Erickson

Keywords

Anthropology, Art, Graffiti, Middle East

Abstract

Modern graffiti is an ever-present part of urban space. It has become globalized and has adapted to different environments and social contexts. Today in Beirut, Lebanon a phenomenal street art movement is infiltrating public space. This particular movement questions the common understandings that have constructed Western graffiti artists and graffiti culture for so long. A new group of street artists is working to make the art form more inclusive of Beirut's many communities by writing messages that speak to the whole of Lebanon. They are making their work known in the presence of law enforcement, different sects, and generations. How does an art form that has long been considered as matter out of place get transformed into an empowering feature of the city? What does this say about how societies differ in defining art and deviance? And furthermore, what does this street art movement accomplish in the complicated and dynamic environment of Beirut, Lebanon?

Share

COinS