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Aesthetics of Crisis: Political Street Art and Graffiti in Athens, 2013-2023

October 14, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Royce Hall, 314, UCLA + Google Map

Aesthetics of Crisis: Political Street Art and Graffiti in Athens, 2013-2023

Lecture by Julia Tulke, Assistant Professor, Emory University

Saturday, October 14, 2023
3:00 p.m.
314 Royce Hall
Reception to follow

Click here to RSVP

This talk recapitulates the first ten years of Aesthetics of Crisis, a longitudinal research project that has documented and examined political street art and graffiti in Athens since 2013, generating an archive of nearly 7000 photographs. Initially probing the walls of the city as an artifact of and site of performative response to the Greek debt crisis, the project has since adopted the notion of political street art as a “barometer” and method capable of rendering visible shifting currents of crisis and contestation. Over the course of a decade, the project has traced and contextualized street-level responses to the 2015 austerity referendum, the growing visibility of feminist and queer protest and expression since the mid-2010s, the emergence anti-Airbnb and anti-gentrification graffiti since 2019, reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic and first lockdowns of 2020 and, most recently, the turn to graffiti removal as an aspirational performance of post-crisis. By weaving together ethnographic and documentary sensibilities attuned to the complex material and affective realities of everyday life, Aesthetics of Crisis offers a polyphonic counterpoint to the narrow and often fetishizing representation of the “crisis city” Athens through uncritical celebrations of “crisis creativity” and the attendant assertion that “Athens is the new Berlin.”

Julia Tulke is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Emory University. She earned her Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. Located at the intersections of urban studies, visual culture, and anthropology, Tulke’s research centers on the visual and spatial politics of crisis, with a particular focus on the material and symbolic terrain of the “crisis city,” for which Athens has served as her central case study. Her work in and on the city through the past decade includes research and writing on political street art and graffiti, artist-run spaces, queer and feminist protest, and the poetics of ruination. This work has appeared in the journals City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action and Forum Kritische Archäologie, as well as the edited volumes The Aesthetics of Global Protest: Visual Culture and Communication and Greece in Crisis: The Cultural Politics of Austerity, among other places. Julia’s longitudinal research project Aesthetics of Crisis won the 2022 Prosser Award for Visual Methodologies from the International Visual Sociology Association. https://juliatulke.com/

This program is made possible thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

In case you missed the lecture, the recording is available below:

Gefyra (Bridge) is a collaborative program established by the UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture and the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Gefyra’s mission is to connect students, faculty, and communities along the West Coast of North America with Greek scholars, artists, and other creators, so that they can together explore expansive and imaginative approaches to Greek culture and knowledge production. The program additionally supports academic conferences and cultural projects that bridge the West Coast and Greece.

Parking Information:

Parking for Royce Hall is available in Parking Structure 5 located at: 302 Charles E Young Dr N, Westwood, Los Angeles, CA 90095. Parking Structure 5  is accessible from Royce Drive, south of Sunset Boulevard, and west of Hilgard Ave. (in the northeast section of the campus).

No parking attendants will be on-site at the parking structure, and Pay-By-Space/Visitor Parking is extremely limited in this lot, so we highly encourage you to purchase a parking permit in advance:

    • To save time, you may purchase your parking permit for $15 in advance using Bruin ePermit: https://bruinepermit.t2hosted.com/pnw2/selectevent.aspx. Select “UCLA Royce Hall,” then “Julia Tulke Lecture” With the advanced parking permit, you can park anywhere in Parking Structure 5 EXCEPT in the Pay-by-Space section. For instructions on how to use this portal, please click here.
    • To purchase a permit when you arrive at Parking Structure 5, please park ONLY in the Pay-By-Space/Visitor Parking area on the rooftop of this structure, and proceed to the Self-Service Pay Station machine to pay by credit card (the parking on this level is very limited).
    • Guest drop/Ride-share drop off is closest at the turnaround at the front of Royce Hall located at: 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles, CA 90095.
    • Accessible parking: If you have accessibility needs, you may park in the Pay-By-Space/Visitor Parking area on the rooftop (level 5) of this structure, and proceed to the Self-Service Pay Station machine to pay by credit card.  Please visit our Campus Accessibility Map to view related information.

For inquiries, please contact hellenic@humnet.ucla.edu

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October 14, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Gefyra, a partnership between UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture & SFU Centre for Hellenic Studies


Royce Hall, 314
UCLA + Google Map