Publication details

Statues and sprays: Two cases of graffiti as spatial practice of resistance in Prague



Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Description Topic of this paper is focused on two cases of spraying on the statues in Prague. In the first one there was red paint spilled on the statue of Konev and writing “No to bloody marshal, we will not forget” and years '45, '56, '61 and '68 were sprayed there. The second one is spraying “Was racist, Black Lives Matter” on the statue of Churchill. We chose those cases because they are similar in their nature – those are acts of resistance through the spatial practice by spraying on the statue, but they create different responses in Czech society. We analyze and compare those responses through media discourses created shortly after these events occurred (in the case of Konev – august 2019, in the case of Churchill – June 2020). At the same time, we focus on more extreme narratives, mainly created by disinformation media. There is a different response since it is not just about the level of material – “destroying” something tangible, but both statues have their symbolic meanings. Those are created by the actions of people, who are represented by statues and by peoples’ interpretations of those actions. In these interpretations, there is also an important role of central Europe and post socialist space. The importance of geography can be seen on a few other levels in this case. The act of resistance is formed spatially, because writing must be placed on a statue in public space to create impact or change the previously dominant discourse. Also the role of geography is connected to actions of people represented by statues – based on the impact of those actions to (the history of) Czech Republic.

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