The narrow margin of urban protest art: A comparative study of the role of street art in two neighborhoods of Barcelona and Madrid Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2022

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0735-2166


  • There is broad consensus regarding the fact that street art is a form of social, political and cultural protest and critique. However, rather than one single form, street art consists of a wide range of complex and contradictory styles featuring a diversity of interests, derivations and conflicts with underlying factors of both a structural and contextual nature. Taking as examples the cases of Pinacoteca a Cel Obert and Pinta Malasaña, in Barcelona and Madrid respectively, this article explores the production of urban art and notes how, as part of plans to revitalize neighborhoods, it assumes different versions in harmony with the characteristics and circumstances of the surrounding areas. Using a qualitative methodology, it explores the conception, development and results of both projects, revealing the heterogeneity of explanatory factors, the complexity of their implementation, and the role, which is not exempt from conflict and rivalry, of street artists in the urban space.


  • Art
  • Sociology


  • street art; graffiti; tags; gentrification; revitalization; defacement; barcelona; madrid