I am yours for 2 coppers

I’ve just found a wonderful 1973 study on the psychoanalysis of graffiti that discusses how unconscious desires might be expressed through public scrawlings.

It has a completely charming table that compares graffiti from A.D. 79 Pompeii with 1960’s Los Angeles to demonstrate the similarity of themes across the centuries.
 


 

The author concludes that “aggressive-destructive and incorporative wishes are similarly satisfied by the wall writer at the expense of the wall owner” although overtly sexual images should be considered as definitely expressing sexual themes.
 

Link to locked 1973 study the psychoanalysis of graffiti.

Zombie brain-eating sex kitten

Bogotá comes up with a smackdown in the Colombia brain graffiti stakes with a zombie brain-eating sex kitten found on a car park wall near Avenida Calle 63 con Carrera 17 this morning.
 


 

Medellín, represent!

UPDATE: A bit of Google Fu turns up the blog of the graffiti artist Saint Cat with some amazing pieces scattered around Bogotá and the occasional featured zombie brain.

Going up in smoke

Some amazing graffiti art which has recently appeared in the Colombian city of Medellín near the Hospital metro station.

Medellín has the most amazing street art of any city I’ve ever been too, much of it genuinely beautiful, and often quite socially conscious, in contrast to the gangsta style that pervades many urban landscapes.
 


 

The text translates as ‘Tears, pain and desperation are the consequences of dirty money reflected in the harsh mirror of the city. Medellín is decaying through drugs while our lives go up in smoke’.

In Spanish: ‘Lagrimas, dolor y desesperado son las consecuencias del sucio dinero reflejado en el crudo espejo de la urbe. Medellín se nos pudre en drogas mientras nuestras vidas se van con el humo.’

Liberation psychology graffiti

I’ve just seen my first genuine piece of psychology graffiti. The picture is from a wall in Universidad de Antioquia and the graffiti is promoting a conference on the application of ‘liberation psychology’ to preventing violence and helping the victims of violence in Colombia.

The text in Spanish is roughly translated as “We propose a scientific endeavour committed to historical reality and the problems and aspirations of the people” and is a quote from social psychologist and Catholic priest Ignacio Martín-Baró.

Martín-Baró was working in El Salvador during its bloody civil war and was using social psychology to research the opinions and views of the people and was producing results contrary to the propaganda of the army and government.

He was murdered by the El Salvadorian army in 1989 but he has had a massive influence on psychology and public policy in Latin America.

This in part was due to his strong belief in social psychology as an applied discipline to improve the society and the conditions of the poorest and most deprived.

While liberation psychology itself is typically associated with the left, one of Martín-Baró’s legacies is the practice of using social psychology for social improvement, something which is widely accepted in Latin America, regardless of political orientation.

It may seem strange that a conference is being advertised through graffiti, but political graffiti is common on the university campus and ranges from spray painted slogans to huge colourful murals.

If you’re interested in learning more about liberation psychology, The Psychologist had a 2004 article discussing both the discipline and Martín-Baró.

Link to The Psychologist article on liberation psychology.