Discourse on HIV/AIDS in Cape Town

Kattie Whitelaw '14 (L) and Lauren Barbera '15 (R) making a new friend in Langa Township.

Discourse on HIV/AIDS in Cape Town, South Africa in Regards to Apartheid Memory and Reconciliation by Katie Whitelaw and Lauren Barbera   Introduction Our HIV/AIDS project changed dramatically throughout performing our field research in Cape Town, South Africa. We initially thought that this complex problem was actually a simple lack of education. After all, why […]

Graffiti in Post-Apartheid Cape Town, South Africa

Figure 4 (detail)

Graffiti in Post-Apartheid Cape Town, South Africa by Carly Barnes   Graffiti can be viewed and understood as an important means of visual heritage that serves as a physical representation of memory. Within the context of Cape Town, South Africa, this type of visual heritage becomes especially representative of the nation’s present society wrought by […]

The Use of Art in the Public Sphere: Combating Urban Blight


The Use of Art in the Public Sphere: Combating Urban Blight

by Laura Penalver

My research project focuses on the integration and impact of art in the public sphere. This issue is particularly relevant now due to its role as a combatant of urban decline caused by the economic crisis of 2008. I examine the qualities necessary for the art to be successful by using past examples of public art and comparing them to EscaparArtes, an initiative started in the spring of 2013 in Cadiz, Spain. After seeing the negative impact abandoned storefronts had on the surrounding shops, EscaparArtes decided to fill the empty store windows with works of art, the end goal being to revitalize consumerism in the area and counteract the urban decay. Unlike most public art works, EscaparArtes is temporary and the art only remains until the space is rented. This aspect, in combination with creating a show-like atmosphere, calls substantial attention to the storefront and sets it apart from other public art endeavors. I examine how EscaparArtes can be used as a model for future public art projects and what factors should be changed to increase effectiveness.