In this episode, we talk with Stefano Bloch. Stefano is an urban geographer specializing in social and spatial theory, cultural criminology, and subcultures. He is currently a Presidential Diversity Fellow in Urban Studies at Brown University. Stefano joins us to reflect on his use of personal autobiography as a source of data and methodological asset. In particular, he turns to his own experience as a member of the graffiti subculture when researching the destruction of the LA Olympic freeway murals by writers over the last 30 years. Stefano’s article on the subject titled “Why Grafitti Writers Write on Murals” is forthcoming in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
“So often I hear students say the same few things. One of which is, “well, I’m from such a boring area and nothing happened there—we were so monotonous in the way we lived our lives, I didn’t do anything”. And, I remind them, if what they mean by boring is the traditional suburban, homogeneous enclave in the middle of Connecticut, that is, in fact, a revolution in the way in which people have lived. You know, the family with two-parents, two-point-seven kids, the dog, and the attached garage is a rich source of data…You need to de-familiarize your own upbringing. There is no such thing as boring.”
– Stefano Bloch –