MCL PRESENTS #4: Political Graffiti

Talk with René Kästner and Sven Niemann

December 1, 2023, 6.30 to 8 pm, admission from 6 pm
URBAN NATION Museum | Bülowstr. 7, 10783 Berlin

Vandalism or message? Sprayers reach for the can when they want to convey a political message to a broad audience in highly visible and public places. The volume “Political Graffiti” was recently published in the Guernica Society’s “Art and Politics” series. René Kästner and Sven Niemann discuss graffiti as a tool of political agency.

Sven Niemann, author of the book’s contribution “Bomb the System! Politische Pieces als Partizipationspraktik im öffentlichen Raum” (“Bomb the System! Political Pieces as Participation Practices in Public Space”), works a research assistant at the Institute of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Paderborn. He is part of the team of the DFG project INGRID (Informationssystem Graffiti in Deutschland), a research database on graffiti. He is also involved in the graffiti scene in Paderborn, where he explains the works in guided tours.

René Kästner is a curator, filmmaker, author, blogger, podcaster and publisher with a focus on graffiti and street art culture. He has co-organized festivals such as splash! and Write4Gold and curated exhibition projects such as CONS Space BLN and HALLENKUNST. He is the founder of the podcast series and produces various documentary films and series for ZDF and with his own film production company Red Tower, including the 22-part series “RISE OF GRAFFITI WRITING – From New York to Europe” and 5MINUTES.

In keeping with the theme, the current exhibition “LINGUISTIC XPEDITION” of our 8th Fresh A.I.R. year shows numerous works on aspects of everyday language use, verbal language actions, language thinking and language action as well as the structural power of language. The current exhibition at the URBAN NATION Museum, “Talking… & Other Banana Skins“, also presents the political impact of street art and graffiti.

The event will be held in German and is free of charge.