New Urban Players: Stratagematic Use of Media by Banksy and the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

Paola Monachesi, Marina Turco


In this article, we focus on two urban players whose ultimate aim is to regain public space both in the digital and the urban context: the street artist Banksy and the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement. These two apparently very different players in fact present similar characteristics and operate in similar ways: They engage with the “glocal” playground of the city, where digital and physical space are tightly interconnected, using media in stratagematic (playful, shrewd, unorthodox, and improvised) ways to recreate public space, where conflicting views can be confronted, an essential element of democracy. The article complements current literature on urban activism by highlighting the relevance of the spatial dimension in the emergence of a new public that opposes dominant institutional and corporate actors.


urban space, social media, mobile media, Banksy, Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, street art, social movements

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