Constructing the shitting citizen : the promise of scatological art as environmental and social activism

Grant-Smith, Deanna (2010) Constructing the shitting citizen : the promise of scatological art as environmental and social activism. Reconstruction, 10(3).

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Abstract

Art activism uses visual and performance art to promote social and environmental agendas. In this paper, I explore attempts to raise awareness of sanitation issues at the global, local and personal level using scatological art. I focus on the successes of the open-air public art exhibition set up in the Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) central business district to celebrate World Toilet Day in 2008. The art in this exhibition featured included one hundred toilets decorated to raise awareness of global sanitation issues and the distribution of promotional materials featuring scatological images including postcards and stickers. Given the subject matter and intent, the toilet art and promotional materials presented at the One Hundred Toilet exhibition can be seen as an example of scatological art employed for the purposes of social and environmental activism. Through the One Hundred Toilet exhibition, I consider the political aims and activist potential of using scatological art to progress social and environmental agendas and consider how this kind of ‘shit on show’ approach can contribute to the construction of the shitting citizen; one who is simultaneously responsible for and responsive to managing the waste that they produce and recognising and responding to broader sanitation issues.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 63389
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Ecocriticism, culture studies, urban studies, sanitation, ecological sustainability
ISSN: 1547-4348
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning) (160404)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Urban Sociology and Community Studies (160810)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 16 Oct 2013 04:58
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2013 03:10

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