The Street Art Project, as a scientific team of the Center for the Study of Crime (CSC –ΚΕ.Μ.Ε.), participated in the online international conference “Contemporary societies in motion: Pioneering qualitative research methods in the study of deviance and social control”, on 27 and 28 May 2021.
The Street Art Project: a social – legal and visual approach of the Athenian Street Art movement
Konstantina M. Konstantinou, Social Researcher – MA in Criminology | Creator & Coordinator of “The Street Art Project”, firstname.lastname@example.org
Evdoxia Z. Fasoula, Dr. jur, Forensic Document Examiner – Graphologist | Scientific Associate of Project, email@example.com
Angeliki F. Giannaki, MSc, Attorney at Law | Member of Project’s theoretical and research team, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The “Street Art Project” has been active since February 2018 and is being conducted under the auspices of the Crime Study Centre (CSC). The Project consists of two parts; the first part focuses on the interpretive theoretical background of the Street Art movement, while the second part examines ‘Street Art Photography’, that is, a series of pilot research methods adopted toward the purpose of collecting images of Street Art works displayed in Athens. These methods include photography in combination with direct and indirect observation, as well as the examination of the relationship between verbal and visual representations of Street Art in digital city press. Within the ‘Street Art Project’, the emergent concept and role of photography in social research was demonstrated by the interdisciplinary approaches implemented by the Project’s research team, who utilised the visual material collected through this method in their socio-legal and visual analyses.
More specifically, studying Street Art from the perspective of the Greek criminal provisions on property damage in a strictly doctrinal manner would not have been fruitful in view of the distinct character of Street Art in comparison to Graffiti. Therefore, a socio-legal approach was deployed with the purpose of capturing the essence and nuances of the phenomenon under examination. In particular, in order to determine whether Street Art constitutes the offence of property damage, a doctrinal method and a case law analysis were combined with the use of visual material, namely photos of works of Street Art in juxtaposition with photos of Graffiti pieces.
As far as the photographic analysis of Street Art pieces is concerned, basic methodological principles of visual sociology and forensic photography were used, as they are used in the field of forensic document examination. In the first case, we studied the mechanisms of visual representation and the two-way relationships that are developed between the image of the piece and society, fueling its social meaning, its acceptance, or rejection. In the second case, the photographic approach aimed at highlighting the graphic media and the urban surfaces used, the use of the surrounding area (including previous pieces on the same surface), the styles of painting and lettering, and individual details of the wall engraving, associated with the identity and personality of Street Art and Graffiti artists.
Keywords: The Street Art Project; Visual Criminology; socio-legal research; Street Art photography; Graphology
 Scientific publications on the progress of the Project can be found on the official website of the Crime Study Centre (CSC), https://e-keme.gr/category/working-groups/street-art-project/.