Alternative fabrics of hegemony: City squares and street graffiti as sites of resistance and interactive communication flow | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-199X
  • E-ISSN: 1751-7974



This article discusses the symbolic use of town squares and street walls as sites of communicative spaces. This approach looks at the PR role of those locations, i.e. the discourse and the imagery (portrayed in public spaces, graffiti images and street wall writings) that permeate those communicative domains. The obvious motive of their expansion across various cities is to contest the mainstream media and PR industries in favour of a more interactive flow of information in society. Similarly to the stress put by few scholars on the significance of urban spaces in global cities, this article considers the symbolic power of public spaces in Tunisia during and after the revolution of 14 January 2011 as sites of social activism, which may sometimes rival the power of social media networks. I examine its multifaceted forms of youth action in Tunisia to probe the forms of power that have led to current social changes. The study reveals that such squares have played significant roles in developing social relations, establishing connections and building friendships between social groups. After the revolution such spaces have emerged as contested terrains redefined by the new social order. Also graffiti and street art have, on the one hand, signalled the flourishing of a multiplicity of voices that are serving as a watchdog to the Transition to Democracy. On the other hand, such forms of social activism have proven to be effective tools for breaking the government’s monopoly on information dissemination, public opinion and control over the communicative spheres.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Arab Spring; city squares; graffiti; public space; Tunisia; Tunisian revolution
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