Going Against Politics

deTour curated by: Unimelb, 2015

This Street Art tour is set in Fitzroy and Collingwood; a vibrant area that is home to a diverse range of ethnicities and socio-economic groups. The complex and contradictory range of cultures have influenced and shaped the area into an unusual suburb where no one seems to fit yet everyone seems to fit at the same time. This culture is described as a bohemian culture, being an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of people with few permanent ties but yet they are brought together through their pursuits of literacy, music or art, and thus there is a strong street art culture.

Bohemians have often been associated with anti-establishment or unorthodox political and social viewpoints which are often publicly voiced through music and art. This brings us to the topic of my street art tour, the reflection of current social issues in the modern Australian society represented in street art through symbolism. With street art’s ability to give people a vehicle for public expression, it has become a driving force of current social issues and political viewpoints.

The walking tour will take participants on a leisurely walk along Smith Street and its surrounding back streets, with five stops at murals and art works that echo current social issues. In between each stop, there are also many other artworks that reference social issues. I have marked these, as well as the tour stops, on the map attached below. The psychogeography of the area with its strong but harmonious clash of culture, heightens one’s acceptance of new ideas and opens up the mind to different cultural viewpoints on social issues, making Fitzroy and Collingwood a suitable area to conduct this tour. As a result of an alternative culture, the street art in this area is extremely fascinating, due to the deeper meanings attached to the carefully thought out and often aesthetically pleasing artworks.

Locations for deTour

With constant coverage in the media over the past few years, gay rights and more specifically, legalising gay marriage, is a hot topic within Australia. On both sides of this corner, as well as a few other corners further down Smith Street, there are…

This artwork depicts a group of faceless people standing together, with some of them holding signs up in the air as if to represent a protest. The mural, from my interpretation, seems to convey the idea that no matter who you are or what colour your…

This mural consists of a spray painted grey tonal background and a painted message that reads “50 shades of humanity; everybody is somebody”. This artwork promotes the idea that no matter if you are black, white, or somewhere in between, you are…

In an area that has a large indigenous population, the Aboriginal flag is frequently the subject of street art in Fitzroy and Collingwood. The written word “VACSAL” represents the Victorian Aboriginal Community Service Association that is located…

This artwork by Makatron, consists of a burger that is filled with the usual ingredients such as lettuce, tomato and mustard, alongside unusual ingredients such as piano keys, a woman’s legs, a barcode, cigarettes and the Australian flag. This…
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