This project seeks to reveal the nature of graffiti prohibition as content-based speech regulation. It will unearth the practice of favoring messages conforming to prevailing narratives and aesthetic standards. This research is very timely given the role of graffiti in the recent “Black Lives Matter” uprisings. The authors’ groundbreaking proposal to introduce a right to free expression on city surfaces promises to open an avenue for non-violent, yet powerful protests, fostering social change.

Tags: Diversity, Social Cohesion, Right to the city, Public spaces, Active Citizenship, Graffiti, Street art

Katya Assaf Zakharov, Tim Schnetgöke

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

Katya Assaf-Zakharov is an Assistant Professor at the Law School and the DAAD Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She earned her PhD at the University of Munich, working as a scholar of the Max Plank Institute for Innovation and Competition. This year, she is a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Tim Schnetgöke is a professional photographer and a connoisseur of vandalism, specializing in portraits and extensively documenting graffiti on trains. He has studied photography at University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld. Tim is based in Berlin and loves black coffee and pizza.

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