ON WALLS is a small, independent and free research group on walls and practices related to walls (planners, administrators, investors, muralists, graffiti writers, street artists, designers, advertisers…) in the context of contemporary urban environments. Please see the "About" page for more info.


Ella Chmielewska


Programme Director

Lecturer in Cultural Studies

Principal Investigator, interKULTURAL (Asia-link)

Graduate School LLC, The University of Edinburgh

Reseach interests:

urban visual cultures, text and image in public space

visual knowledges, visual rhetoric

place identity, place memory, semiotics of place

visibility and materiality of language signs: inscriptions, book objects, language-based art

graffiti: history, theory of writing, locality and ephemeral urban practices

trans-cultural aesthetics, intellectual migration and cultural translation

Canadian city, Central/East European city

Recent publications:

“Framing [Con]text: Graffiti and Place. “Space and Culture”, 2007 (10) 2: 145-169.

“Wspòlmyslenie o wspòldzialaniu” Sztuka I filozofia, 29-2006, Uniwersytet Warszawski – Instytut Filozofii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe SCHOLAR (With Bazenowa, ELwich, Gutowska, Szparaga).

“Logos or the Resonance of Branding”, Space and Culture”, 2005 (8) 4: 356-380.

“Signs of Place: A Close Reading of the Visual Landscape of Warsaw.” in Arnold Bartetzky, Marina Dmitrieva and Stefan Troebst (Eds) Neue Staaten – neue Bilder? Visualle Kulture im Dienst staatlicher Selbstdarstellung in Zentral – und Osteuropa seit 1918. (Köln, Weimar, Vien: Böhlau 2005): 243-255, Fig. 1-6.


“Framing temporality: Montréal graffiti in photography” in Annie Gérin and James S. McLean (Eds) Off Base: Contemporary Perspectives in Canadian Public Art. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 2008.

“Sites of display: iconosphere of Warsaw, 1955 to present.” in Peter Martyn (Ed) City in Art. Warsaw: Institute of Art, 2007: 135-152, fig. 1-51.

Current projects:

InterKULTUR_edinburgh is a research project contributing to the EU-funded collaborative and international Project interKULTUR (Asia-Link Programme).

We take the experience of working with inter-cultural curriculum development as a starting point for theoretical and methodological reflection on cultural translation and  intercultural methodologies. We explore cultural context of terminology and methodology of cultural studies, cultural differences in theoretical frameworks and intellectual traditions,  and are mostly concerned  with questions related to place and identity, text and canon, visual language and spatial practices, image and representation, signs and semiotic landscapes.

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