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New Muralism and the Politics of Erasure: A Study of Public Culture in Peru

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship

2017 – 2021

The ‘New Muralism and the Politics of Erasure: A study of public culture in Peru’ project is supported by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship grant, awarded to Dr Chandra Morrison (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, LACC), and based at LACC.


In March 2015, over 60 murals adorning the historic centre of Lima were removed at the order of the city’s new mayor, erasing the visual imprint of the Latido Americano urban art festival and other mural productions endorsed by the previous administration. Lima’s new look generated instant and intense public debate in mainstream and social media, advocating both for and against the murals. Yet this clash over the urban image represents much more than a spat between political rivals; its ramifications reach to the core of public life in Peru.


Taking the 2015 mural erasure in Lima as its focal point, this project investigates what the rise and removal of new muralism signals about the state of public culture in contemporary Peru. It employs ethnographic, visual, and digital methods and critical discourse analysis to examine how disparate framings of urban murals in the public sphere are used to reinforce or challenge cultural hierarchies and social inequalities in Peruvian society, contextualised in the ascent of democracy, neoliberalism, and the creative city.

Forthcoming outputs

  • Book ManuscriptNew Muralism and the Politics of Erasure in Lima: Public Culture in the Creative City (in progress)

  • Article: Murals in Mourning: Silent Bodies and the Performance of Cultural Resistance in Lima, Peru (in progress)




 Events Organised:



Follow Chandra on Instagram (@chan_mor) for more photos of her research.