Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Emanuela Guano

Second Advisor

Kathryn Kozaitis

Third Advisor

Steven Black

Fourth Advisor

Cassandra White


In examining the artistic mobilization of the Asamblea Revolucionaria de Artistas de Oaxaca (ASARO), this thesis focuses on the transformative potential of the artists’ spatial practices through their investment in utilizing urban spaces throughout the city (Lefebvre 1991). Spatial politics of artists allows them to create "spaces of representation" through which they can represent themselves to the wider public (Mitchell 1995). Drawing on Habermas’ (1989) notion of public sphere - a place where private people come together to discuss and engage in critical, rational debate to form and or influence a public option - I argue that in stenciling their graphic messages on city walls, members of this artistic movement are physically and symbolically creating space for themselves in discussions and debates that they have historically been excluded from. Speaking from the perspective of shared experiences and struggles, ASARO’s images work to produce the collective subject of el pueblo (the people).