19 September

Graffiti as a tool for visual freedom of expression in public space

  • 16:15 - 17:15
  • Niagara B0308

This lecture is by Tobias Barenthin Lindblad, and is organized by the Institute for Urban Research, in collaboration with the Institute for Studies in Malmö history.

With the gentrification of Western cities, graffiti has become a controversial topic. Graffiti has caused politicians, media and art dealers to go through the roof, out of anger over vandalism or out of joy over sold works. In his lecture, Tobias Barenthin Lindblad speaks about graffiti, from its emergence in the turbulent 1970s New York, to today’s Swedish graffiti movement. The lecture touches on topics such as the public space, subcultural strategies, the importance of spaces in the city, taste, power and morality and what is called ‘Gestaltad livsmiljö’. A rich visual material describes graffiti’s peculiar dynamics and aesthetic ideals, technology, the social mechanisms between graffiti artists and some of modern society’s most interesting questions: How should public space be managed? Who has the power to express themselves there and what opportunities do citizens have to influence our environment?

About the author:
Tobias Barenthin Lindblad is an author, editor and culture consultant at the Swedish publishing house Dokument Press, specialized in books about street culture and freedom of speech.
After writing graffiti during his teens he started Swedish graffiti magazine UP in 1992, and since then he writes books and debates, lectures and organizes workshops about graffiti, urban culture and the right to public space.

He has been lecturing at amongst other the Swedish Parliament, Art and design universities around Scandinavia, The Unlock seminar in Amsterdam and Cologne, the Menendez Pelayo university in Santander, Spain and the Venice Biennale. Since 2006 he guides street art tours in Stockholm.
He has appeared as an expert witness in several graffiti-related trials in both county and appeal courts in Sweden. Tobias Barenthin Lindblad has an education in Ethnology, Media and Communication Studies and German language at Stockholm University.