School of Geography

School Research Seminar, Tuesday 8th February: Writing on the wall: public space and the body politic

8 February 2011

Time: 12:15 - 1:15pm
Venue: City Centre Seminar Room, FB 2.07

Swati Chattopadhyay, University of California, Santa Barbara

Writing on the wall: public space and the body politic

Chair: Miles Ogborn

This paper takes the recent ban on political wall writing in India to ensure "cleaner elections" to question the instituting of a normative urban visuality and the notion of political subjectivity that informs such a vision. Studying the visual culture of anti-colonial insurgency in the early twentieth century, mainly posters and pamphlets, and the eventual popularization of political wall writing in the 1960s, Prof Chattopadhyay argues that these ephemera, as instances of embodied making of political space enable us to rethink the relation between materiality, urban space, and political subjectivity.