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What does one want to (un)say?: gender, sexuality and politics in graffiti of urban and historical centers: a study of Rome, Italy

Grant number: 18/03579-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2018
Effective date (End): January 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Viviane Melo de Mendonça Magro
Grantee:Viviane Melo de Mendonça Magro
Host Investigator: Antonella Romano
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Humanas e Biológicas (CCHB). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Sorocaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Italy  


The analysis of graffiti, characterized by paintings, drawings, graffiti, wheatpaste, stickers and stencils that are inscribed in the urban landscape, has allowed the understanding of the cultural diversity that makes up the urban centers, the affective and political relationship of people with the city and the production of their (micro) territorialities. Starting from this premise, the question arises about the relation between gender, sexuality and politics and contemporary urbanism, as well as the participation of subjects in the city, the right to the city and the appropriation of its urban-architectural structures. What is questioned are specific modes of subjectivation and positionalities critical to the dominant sexist politics of gender and heteronormativity in the face of an exclusionary urban design; and whether the discourses produced by urban graffiti can be read as everyday micro practices of lived space that in their various techniques reveal the diverse appropriations of urban space that mark territories and affirm differences. The proposal of this research project is to analyze the discursive communication of urban graffiti with themes about women, feminism, gender, and sexuality that have been inscribed in circulation and public and private constructions in the urban and historical center of the city of Rome, Italy. The theoretical-methodological foundations are contemporary feminist studies - neo-materialist and postcolonial - and the dialogical discursive communication approach of Mikhail Bakhtin and his Circle, in dialogue with social psychology and historical-urbanistic and historical-architectural perspective. A geolocalized map of graffiti on buildings, historic monuments, plaques, and walls will be produced in the urban center of Rome; and then the discursive practices of graffiti will be analyzed dialogically. Subsequently, it is intended to carry out further investigations, dialogues of the results found and analyzes in Brazilian urban and/or historical centers and other cities in Europe and Latin America. The choice of the center of Rome is justified by the recognition of this territory as an area of manifestation of urban and contemporary art, as well as art and humanities in general, and Italy is considered one of the historical origins of the genre discursive graffiti. The urban center of Rome is also understood as an important territory of social and political manifestations of history in general and of Italy, in particular, including those of feminist, gender and sexual diversity claims. The research, which is of an interdisciplinary nature, will be held at the Dipartimento di Storia, Disegno e Restauro Dell'architettura, Universitá Sapienza di Roma.

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