Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2012

Document Type



Art History

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Nauman


Contemporary graffiti and muralist practices in Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile reflect their context of postcolonial society and culture. Through ethnographic interviews, iconographical readings of artworks and a survey of historical movements, I demonstrate how street art reveals identity formation of the artists and within their country. Using a postcolonial framework, I attempt to avoid the pitfalls of Western research into subaltern populations. The findings of this research expose the role of Chilean cultural manifestations to address issues of indigenismo, syncretism, and imperial political structures. Considering the homogenization of culture and the process of globalization, Chilean street art will continue to respond to external and internal pressures to form a popular and national identity.