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.


Daniela Vicherat Mattar


Narrative biography

I have been academic and professionally formed on the interface between socio-political and urban studies in Chile (BA in Sociology at the P. Universidad Católica), the UK (MA in Social and Political Thought at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick) and Italy (MSc and PhD in Social and Political Science at the European University Institute, Florence). In May 2008, I took up a two-year position as Marie-Curie postdoctoral Fellow in Economic and Social History at the University of Edinburgh to carry out a research on the prevalence of walls in shaping contemporary European cities.

My research has focused on multiple dimensions of the urban experience, especially at the level of everyday life interactions, with main emphasis on the traditional and contemporary elements defining private/public spaces; identity problematiques underpinning quests of belonging, particularly related to the formation of politico-urban communities; normative and empirical issues rising from the private/public divide; geographies of consumption; alternatives strategies of citizens’ participation and urban democracy; Latin American social and urban development. I had been trained to combine these theoretical concerns with empirical research, especially using qualitative and visual methodologies.

Selected publications and conference presentations

(2009) “Did all the walls come down? Contemporary b/ordering walls in Europe” paper presented at the panel Walls, Borders and Boundaries at the German Studies Association Conference. Washington DC, October 2009.

(2009) “When the line that traces the divide is hard. Looking at walls as reinforcement of (in)formality in Europe” Invited paper presented at the Irmgard Coninx Foundation in workshop Urban In-Formality. Berlin, June 2009.

(2009) “Walling borders: an achievement or sign of failure?” in TRIALOG. A journal for planning and building in the third world, especial issue on Borders and Migration

(2008) “Whose city, whose rights: Questioning the boundaries of the urban” presented at the ESF-LiU Conference The right to the city: New challenges, new issues. Vadstena, October 2008.

(2007) “¿Qué tienen en común la identidad, el espacio público y la democracia? Reflexiones sobre los conceptos” (What is common to identity, public spaces and democracy? Thinking about the concepts)  in Espacios Públicos y Construcción Social. Olga Segovia (Ed.). Santiago: Ediciones SUR. Diciembre 2007.

(2006) “Global civil society: Between collective concerns and individual impassiveness”, paper presented at the RC 16 on Social Theory, Session 1 on Global Civil Society at the 16th ISA World Congress The quality of social existence in a globalising world. Durban, July 2006.

(2002) “Trabajo infantil y escolaridad en America Latina” (Child labour and schooling in Latin America), in Desarrollo Humano e Institucional en America Latina, Barcelona: Instituto Internacional de Gobernabilidad, Edición 26.

(2001) “¿Qué motiva a la gente a actuar en común? Estudio sobre Participación Social en la Población Malaquías Concha, comuna de La Granaja” (What makes people to act together? A social participation study at Malaquias concha neighbourhood in La Granja, with Claudia Serrano) in Serie Estudios Socio-Económicos CIEPLAN Nº 6. Santiago de Chile: CIEPLAN.

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