visual activism

French street artist JR is ‘turning the world inside out’ by means of a large-scale art project encouraging participants to print and paste their image in public spaces around the world… (a note by the Guardian here)

Dutch graphic designer and journalist duo Haas&Hahn convert a hillside favela into a brightly-coloured model neighbourhood

British artist Banksy shows Middle East politics new ways by ripping open the Jerusalem wall with nothing more than spray paint


cartoon artist Carlos Latuff intervenes (in)directly from his studio in Rio in the uprising on Tahrir square by drawing up and instantly circulating the visual commentaries that people need to express their cause…

… The common claim of these and other projects is to be able to change the world by making both the world as it is and the change has it happens visible: in everyday life (definitely on the street yet increasingly also on the web it seems). Whether or not successful in achieving the specific aims of each project, they give an example of the visual arts’ possibilities – and growing confidence – for making their voice seen in creative local and trans-local (urban) interventions. Yet the strong focus on images of this kind of visual ‘street politics’ also attracts criticism routed in the concern that the social dimensions of life, space and politics are too fast and too easily thrown over board pursuing streamline communication design and maximum media impact.

Where do you stand? And where does this practice figure within the methods and theory of visual sociology?

A ISA T05 call for papers is open (here) till December 15th, 2011. Comments are welcome, too.



tube projects

The underground (and other networks) as inspiration, metaphor or experience for the exploration (and representation) of urban worlds.

A catalogue of mixed media art and research projects on, in, about or (somehow) related to the underground systems of the world.


an invitation to explore everyday life and urban phenomena in Mexico City by means of visiting the multiple stops of a thematic metro system guiding through the (on-line) exposition.

by Citámbulos

Sounding Underground,

a virtual environment that invites users to interact with the soundscapes of three underground public transport systems: London, Paris and Mexico City.

by Ximena Alarcón

Paris, ville invisible,

a ‘sociological opera’, inviting us to wander through the city, in texts and images, exploring some of the reasons why it cannot be captured at a glance.

by Bruno Latour et. al.

Night Haunts,

a nocturnal journal through London.

by Sukhdev Sandhu


(catalogue to be expanded).

The Social, on Street Photography

The Social, on Street Photography

Mon 25 October, 18.30 – 21.00

The Social is a new series of bar nights: a place for photography professionals and enthusiasts to meet, have a drink, and talk about current aspects of photography.

This evening focuses on Street Photography, with photographer Stephen McLaren and lawyer Rupert Grey.

Location: Barrio Central, Poland Street, London, W1F 8PS.

Free, no booking required, but spaces limited.

The Social is organised jointly by The Photographers’ Gallery and the British Journal of Photography.