Book Review: Street Art, Public City: Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination. By Alison Young (Routledge, 2014, 177pp. £75.00 hb, £24.99 pb)

Millie, Andrew (2015) Book Review: Street Art, Public City: Law, Crime and the Urban Imagination. By Alison Young (Routledge, 2014, 177pp. £75.00 hb, £24.99 pb). Oxford University Press, The British Journal of Criminology, 55 (1) pp 205-2018 ISSN: 0007-0955.

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Abstract

This is a book about illegal art on the street. It covers a wide range of artistic practice from graffiti through to guerrilla knitting, but with the main focus on ‘street art’. Alison Young offers an intelligent and engaging account of her experiences as ‘a spectator to and researcher of street art’ (p. 9) drawing on ‘two decades looking at art on city walls’ (p. 9). Her research involved what she calls an ‘ethnography of the cityscape’ (p. 91) including interviews with 64 street artists from several cities conducted over a number of years. The book is structured around six substantive chapters interspersed by five vignettes of encounters with street art. Whilst Young has a romanticized view of street art and states, ‘It would be easy to mistake the book’s approach as stemming from an uncritical affection … to assume it is a ‘fanboy’ account’ (p. 33), space is also given to more critical perspectives. The aim is to examine street art through ‘the ways in which affect intersects with notions of property, entitlement, ownership and propriety in urban space’. (p. 33) It is clearly of interest to urban scholars and cultural geographers. It is also of interest to urban and cultural criminologists—as well as wider criminology, especially concerning issues of criminalisation.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Divisions: Law and Criminology
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 16:09
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/6639

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