Downtown Asunción, Paraguay

A Democratic Place for Graffiti in Response to Rural Injustices

  • Mario Luis Cardozo Department of Geography, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Keywords: graffiti, Paraguay, smallholders, soy, neoliberalization

Abstract

Since the end of President Stroessner’s 35-year dictatorship in 1989, the downtown area of Asunción, Paraguay’s capital, has become a center for protest, with numerous political graffiti pieces painted on public and private property. The president’s office and Congress are located in the same area. In this article, I examine political graffiti photographed in 2016 and 2017 in Downtown Asunción; I focus on pieces that comment directly on indirectly on rural issues. An analysis of graffiti messages identifies protest narratives against genetically modified crops and other land uses linked to conflicts between small-scale farmers and broad-scale agricultural producers. These graffiti pieces illustrate complex relationships among small-scale farmers, Asunción residents, and the Paraguayan state. In exploring the political discourses imbued in Downtown Asunción’s vandal graffiti, this article reveals an “intrinsically moral” urban project that seeks to challenge state neoliberal projects that contribute to rural injustices in Paraguay.

Author Biography

Mario Luis Cardozo, Department of Geography, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professor

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Published
2019-07-08
How to Cite
Cardozo, Mario. 2019. “Downtown Asunción, Paraguay”. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 18 (3), 606-41. https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1693.
Section
Research