Forums and workshops

In the Streets; On the Walls: Archiving, Activism, & the Urban Art Mapping Street Art Database

Posted by Angela Brcka for University Libraries

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and cities around the world were transformed by a massive proliferation of graffiti and street art, including words and images expressing a wide range of emotions, demands and visions for the future. The Urban Art Mapping George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art database is a crowdsourced, activist archive of street art created in the context of the ongoing movement demanding social justice and equality. Whether in the form of commissioned murals or unsanctioned graffiti, art in the streets serves to represent the voices of the community, providing a counter-institutional narrative.

Join guest scholars Heather Shirey and David Todd Lawrence, co-directors of Urban Art Mapping Research Project, and learn about the ways that artists and writers have used walls, posts, streets and boards as sites for vernacular communicative acts and explore the goals, challenges and applications of a crowd-sourced archive of protest art in the community.

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About the speakers

Heather Shirey and David Todd Lawrence teach at the University of St. Thomas and are co-directors of Urban Art Mapping Research Project, a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and students engaged in the analysis of art in the streets since 2018. They are actively documenting and analyzing street art created in the context of Covid-19 (Urban Art Mapping: COVID-19 Street Art) and the 2020 Uprisings (George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art).

About the series

This event is part of Capturing Community: Digital Storytelling and Community-Driven Archives Speaker Series, a collaboration between Western Michigan University Center for the Humanities and University Libraries. In this series, guest scholars talk about how they use community-driven archiving and digital storytelling collaborations to highlight underrepresented communities, preserve their histories and stories, and capture history-making social justice movements. 

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Time: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Location: Webex
Contact: Amy Bocko
Email for more information