MAKING A CHANGE IN SOCIETY WITH GRAFFITI

Women's rights activists know how to utilize walls as communication platform

Most of the graffiti in the theme 'rights' communicated about the women's rights. Second most frequent theme was about the right to activism. There were also graffiti relating to ethnic and racial rights, animal rights and prisioners' rights.

Women's rights graffiti is a great example of the ideas of the ideological community of Phillips (1999), which aims at transforming and influencing society with its graffiti. According to Phillips, the ideological community is described as believing that change in society is possible. The community will paint comprehensible and easy-to-read graffiti, which are mostly in their native language and contain little cryptic images or codes. In this way, the community wants to communicate clearly and intelligibly.

The ideology of the women's rights graffiti were clear. According to the messages, the Spanish society favors men in politics, law-making and culture. I also would see the amount and the content of the women's rights graffiti as a sign that women's interest in politics has increased. It has for a long time been considerably lower than men in Spain (see Calvo & Martín 2009: 499). Placing graffiti in certain neighborhoods tells us that women have knowledge of ​​the effects of graffiti repetition and location. For example Lavapiés in Madrid is known as an area where there are many women's rights defenders. This neighbourhood was the most frequent location for women's rights graffiti in Madrid.

Generally public space is seen as a gendered state, where mostly male architects design cities and buildings and where men are active: they are present on the streets, terraces, and they create graffiti (see Miles 2000: 258). Based on my research, women have moved to these masculine areas and graffiti has re-shaped streets into a meaningful space for them to identify as women.

rights, womens rights,
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