Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2023

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


International Studies

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Studies

First Advisor

John Zarobell


In the early Twentieth century the Mexican Muralism movement reached two important port cities: San Francisco and Buenos Aires. The artists in these cities quickly adopted the usage of public art as means to insert political dialogue into the everyday life of their citizens. Throughout the years the resistance art in these cities has evolved in parallel, shaped by their dynamic histories of social and political change. This paper critically compares the evolutions of resistance art in Buenos Aires and San Francisco over the past twenty years. It does so by analyzing the public art archives of local collectives in conjunction with timely newspaper articles. Using interviews with various collectives and artists this paper is able to holistically analyze the impact and form of resistance art evolutions in these cities. By exploring the evolution and experience of resistance art at a phenomenological level I find that the socio- political histories of these cities have a profound effect on resistance art. Additionally, I found that the organization and monopolization of urban space can directly impact the provocativeness of these experiences. As we move forward, I find that is it imperative for the everyday citizen to participate in the critique of our everyday encounters with resistance art in urban spaces, questioning what these structures are telling us implicitly and explicitly about our cities.