Holly Eva Ryan is Lecturer in International Political Sociology at Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Political street art, the locus of Ryan's inquiry, remains a deliberately open conceptual term, 'a loose category for interventions whose creative and material use of the street is in some way tied to their political meaning', (p. 5) allowing her to draw together examples ranging from campaign posters and political murals to slogan writing and street performances. Relying on original interviews and archival research, the book follows a geographical structure, working through three sets of case studies located within the national contexts of Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina, each chapter interrogating the capacity of political street art to performatively 'mediate within, challenge and even alter the political status quo' (p. 141). Political Street Art is an exceptionally rich resource that will benefit new generations of researchers in street art and graffiti studies while also offering critical incursions into social movement theory and regional studies. Likewise, Ryan's considerations of the aesthetic object in public space as an agent of political change will be of interest to scholars of visual culture: 'Art is not for the illuminated, art is to illuminate. Signed: The street'. - Julia Tulke, University of Rochester, USA