UKLA 2019 – abstract

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I will be presenting an overview and early findings from the project at this year’s UKLA conference in Sheffield:

‘Live, love, graff’: Making Meanings around Sheffield Streetart’

This presentation will explore the socio-cultural meanings made around graffiti, primarily created and located in the city of Sheffield. Whilst a range of studies examine graffiti as an (anti-) social cultural practice, there is limited work using new literacies as a lens for exploring streetart’s contribution to a city’s multimodal textual landscape. As such, I position graffiti writing as a literacy practice, situated within in a particular local and cultural context. I conceptualise graffiti as an assemblage, situated within a network of wider practices, generated both by those who create and view the work.  Here, I consider multiple perspectives on three individual pieces of graffiti, located in Sheffield. I consider the meanings made around these pieces, in relation to the space in which they are situated and those implicated in their creation, as a means of illuminating the diverse and often playful practice of graffiti writing. This presentation is enhanced by an online resource in the form of a non-linear, multimedia map developed for the conference. I will introduce this map as a means of capturing and conveying wider perspectives on Sheffield streetart, also providing delegates with a means of locating and viewing pieces of graffiti for themselves.

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