Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Garth Myers


Graffiti is not often thought of as a positive tool for change, especially in the era of urban neoliberalism. Rather, it is regarded by such forces as harmful to the urban fabric, a signifier of urban decline and a crime progenitor. While neoliberalization threatens the authenticity of the urban through privatization and appropriation, graffiti has the potential to reclaim and reappropriate public urban spaces. How can graffiti be used as a tool to enforce Lefebvre’s theory of authentic urban space? Simultaneously, how does graffiti combat the processes of urban homogenization and commodification at the hands of the state and the firm within Lefebvre’s ‘right to the city’ framework? By considering the act of graffiti within Lefebvre’s framework of urban space reclamation and basing my research in the notoriously graffitied city of Athens, Greece, I intend to prove that graffiti can aid in the reclamation of appropriated and commodified spaces at the hands of ‘the state and the firm’ through its ability to shape and form space, subvert existing hierarchies and systems, reinstate belonging and visibility, and initiate dialogue and communication, which makes graffiti an effective tool for Lefebvre’s theory of authentic space reclamation and creation.


Senior project completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT.