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Spatial Justice and Street Art
Nordic Journal of Law & Social Research (2014)
  • Matilda Arvidsson, Lund University
  • Peter Bengtsen

This article presents the notion of spatial justice as a way of considering the relationship between law and street art in a manner beyond the legal/illegal dichotomy. Through a series of empirical examples, it is demonstrated how street art literally takes a place already taken and imposes itself in an already appropriated urban public space. Street art thus redefines the space in contestation to law. However, street art is ephemeral and its taking of space is not permanent. Street art simply points to an alternative spatial definition, one of spatial justice, before – and, indeed, while – withdrawing from the space it occupies. Street art creates a rupture in the lawscape which makes the presence and claims of law explicit, thereby also making the need for law’s other – justice – pronounced. The question of relationality between law and street art which we bring forth in the present article thus plays itself out as a production of space and spatial justice in an exchange of place-taking, withdrawing and pronouncing law and street art. Spatial justice, as we perceive it here, is thus a way of thinking about law and street art not simply as polar opposites, but rather as co-dependent and bound together in an ongoing process of oscillation, mutual reinforcement and creativity.

  • Spatial justicie,
  • jurisprudence,
  • street art,
  • graffiti
Publication Date
Winter December 20, 2014
Citation Information
Matilda Arvidsson and Peter Bengtsen. "Spatial Justice and Street Art" Nordic Journal of Law & Social Research 1.5 (2014): 117-129.