Universiteit Leiden

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Anna Ljung Grüner-Hegge

PhD candidate / self funded

A.B. Ljung Grüner-Hegge MA
+31 71 527 2727

Anna Ljung Grüner-Hegge is a PhD candidate at the Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Anna Ljung Grüner-Hegge

Photography-Based Street Art: An Evolving Genre on the Socio-Cultural Street

The intermedial integration of photography into the practice of Street Art is creating an emerging sub-genre with a stronger communicative and democratic ethos. The nature of this new sub-genre, defined as Photography-Based Street Art, is one which moves beyond site, engaging with the concept of “street” as a socio-cultural rather than a physical space/place issue in its dialogue. The practice shares both conceptual and practical aspects with the genre of Street Photography, warranting examination through the history and theory of photography rather than the traditional painting perspectives previously applied to the study of murals.

Fields of interest

  • Art History
  • Street and Public Art
  • Theory of Photography 
  • Contemporary Art
  • Mimetic Studies 


My dissertation explores the integration of photography into the practices of Street Art, specifically the consequences of creating photography-like murals for its communication to the public. I aim to define Photography-Based Street Art as an emerging sub-genre of Street Art which speaks from a democratic place. This means that the mechanically reproduced medium photography is integrated in public space, the street. Street Art has moved on from its original stricter definition of the decade 1998-2008 to a more pluriform practice where the notion of the “street” functions more as a socio-cultural concept than actual physical place. This opens a dialogue with the “street” that functions both conceptually and metaphorically, facilitating engagement with its audience. Interestingly, in its current looser and more encompassing form, the practice now shares many conceptual and practical aspects with what we know as Street Photography. As a result, this sub-genre of Street Art is best examined through the lens of the history and theory of photography rather than the traditional perspective of the history and theory of painting when studying murals. The influence of the internet and Instagram on the aforementioned artistic practices is significant and will be examined vis a vis artistic motivation, mass distribution and decontextualization of original sites. In contrast to this international milieu, the context of the Socio-Cultural Street of the original works is a local socio-political context. To investigate this aspect, in the last part of the dissertation, I will examine local expressions and the use of ethnographic and migratory subject matter in Photography-Based Street Art as a venue of public dialogue in Colombia. The practice speaks to issues of displacement mobility and the creation of micro-static environments as potential proxies for place/home.

Curriculum Vitae

MA in Film and Photographic Studies. Focus Critical Theory of Photography. Leiden University.

MA in Art History. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum & Parsons School of Design. NYC.

The Eddie Adams Workshop, Maine.

International Center of Photography, NYC.

BA in Art History. Columbia University, NYC.

PhD candidate / self funded

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • KG Moderne beeldende kunst

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number B2.01


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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