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  • petrvasat

Art and the city conference

For the second time, I am honored to contribute my research at the Art and the City conference (conference program), this time at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen (3-5 June 2024). I will be discussing macromurals as a new form of poverty governance in Latin America.

Tipping point urbanism: Macropaintings, poverty governance and the persuasive ecology in Bogota

Abstract: Macro-paintings have gained popularity as a tool employed by urban authorities and artists to uplift marginalized communities in cities across the global South through the painting of their physical environments. They are often viewed as either an ambivalent top-down policy of local governments or as an empowering bottom-up initiative of artists and residents. However, there is limited knowledge regarding the intricate dynamics involved in their multi-scalar and more-than-human governance. This paper delves into the complex interplay of various socio-material actors by shedding light on the tensions between situated and durable forces in the creation and preservation of macro-paintings. Drawing from fieldwork conducted in Colombia and interviews with key figures from various countries, I analyze how urban authorities, artists, community leaders, and residents, in conjunction with material elements and the physical environment, distinctly contribute to the emergence, maintenance, and eventual fading of macro-paintings in Latin America. I contend that macro-paintings are the product of governance in which humans, material elements, and practices not only converge situationally but are also integrated into the physical environment, which persists and continually shapes them. I introduce the concept of 'persuasive ecologies' to better grasp the role of material and environmental dimensions in governance and to reconnect urban governance with the Earth.


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