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“Graffiti writer as superhero” by Ricardo Campos

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Abstract. In this article, ethnographic research developed within the graffiti community of Lisbon is the starting point for a reflection regarding the social condition of the young members of this community. The graffiti writers live between two social and cultural universes, building complex strategies to manage identity and everyday life. Graffiti represents for many young people a ground for struggle and transgression, a chance to reject the law and hegemonic normatives, an arena where they experiment excitement, risk, heroic conduct and sometimes painful sanctions. In a security-prone society, danger becomes a space for freedom, where young writers challenge the limits of life and normative boundaries. This is often why there is a feeling of release and autonomy and of escaping the disciplinary control of social norms and worldly habits. This is why the nature of their exploits appears to be endowed with greatness and heroism.

Online at: http://ecs.sagepub.com/content/16/2/155.abstract

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