Social Unrest

Social Unrest 

“The global articulation of urban social movements that flourished in the wake of the financial crisis and the ensuing austerity measures constitute one of the defining features of what you consider to be new forms of urban activism.” [01]

–  Joana Mayer in conversation with Margit Mayer

Social Unrest is a visual study that consists of photographs that act as an oscilloscope of contemporary societal developments. Today’s pessimistic reality is mirrored in blurred, black and white palimpsests created by urban wall posters. Dark human figures, insurrectional texts, black flags and crosses create a wallpaper of existential anxiety and underlying social unrest.

The almost kaleidoscopic visual density of the posters reflects the various contrasting psychogeographical elements of a city that must be kept in constant vigilance prepared for the next protest or uprising. Torn and wrinkled, once crisp and clean, these posters are signs of a people’s transition from a state of hope and optimism to a murky atmosphere of despair and social tumult.

Through the images of this visual study one can distinguish a substantial “nostalgia for what has been lost”, as well as a basic need for “building a different kind of urban experience” [02]. If someone compares the superficiality of today’s postmodern capitalist way of life with the “visual assault” these street posters seem to unleash, they will immediately understand that this is what the photographer wishes to achieve: a “visual incision” in our collective unconscious.

Text: Spyridon Kaprinis
Photos: Konstantinos Markogiannis


  1. “Cities in the making: social movements, neoliberal urbanism and critical practices.” A conversation with Margit Mayer [2015].
  2. Harvey, D.“ The Right To The City.”

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