This call for papers seeks submissions on the theme of INTANGIBLE. Street art and graffiti have an uneasy relationship with formal heritage frameworks and indeed attempts to safeguard art on the streets may be paradoxically counterproductive – ill-fated attempts to protect street art with a layer of Plexiglass often provoke sustained attempts to destroy the work beneath. Celebrated Italian street artist Blu infamously went so far as to buff and destroy the work he created in the city of Bologna over the course of the last twenty years, sending a clear message to those who are institutionalising street art without permission.

But is the possibility of destruction part of the very nature of street art and graffiti as living forms of heritage? Isaac (2019) argues that:

The artwork located in situ distinguishes itself as an image more akin to a memory than an object, in that its physicality succumbs to the circumstances of its engagement. It conforms itself to the situation in which it is found – peeling, scratched, chipped away, weathered, or even freshly restored – all of which reflect its status as a performance both ‘representative’ of its community and ‘inclusive’ of its audience: a ‘traditional, contemporary and living’ image (UNESCO, 2011).

Street art and graffiti’s relationship with heritage has shifted dramatically in recent years. While earlier approaches were limited to considering vandalism at heritage sites, contemporary understandings position graffiti and street art as forms of alternative cultural heritage in and of themselves – with clear aesthetic, political, social and historical value. And as MacDowall (2019) points out, the proliferation of urban artforms on digital platforms have both accelerated and complicated this process of heritagisation.

We seek submissions that productively engage with the notion of street art and graffiti as forms of living heritage, and which critically consider the range of issues raised by the heritagisation of street art and graffiti and attempts to safeguard, document and archive, relocate, preserve and restore, and curate and manage these unruly forms of art.

Deadline for submissions: April 30, 2024


Nuart Journal is a peer reviewed journal. We accept submissions from a broad range of authors including cultural heritage workers, historians, critics, cultural and human geographers, political theorists, anthropologists, ethnographers, sociologists, psychologists, criminologists, curators, artists, writers, taggers, anarchists, and out and out vandals. 

Submission Guidelines

Full papers should be 5000-8000 words, inclusive of citations and bibliography.

Shorter submissions, including research notes, photo essays, and other visual submissions, reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces are also welcome. Please see prior issues of Nuart Journal for examples of visual and experimental submissions and do contact the Editorial team if you wish to discuss an alternative mode of submission.

Papers should follow Harvard referencing guidelines.