Ethnography of Art

Figure : Source: Street Art Utopia

The art is a painting showing an adult sitting on a street corner begging (a beggar) and a child is approaching the beggar and handing him a heart. The beggar is sitting with his head bowed down in resentment and wearing black clothing (Street Art Utopia, 2012). The child approaching from the street is wearing a red and black striped dress and black shoes that resemble the beggar’s clothing. In the background of the two is a painted wall and a road with potholes in the foreground (Street Art Utopia, 2012).

Purpose of Art (Evokes Emotions)

  • This art is meant to evoke emotional responses of sympathy and concern for the people who are suffering in the urban areas and live by the kindness of well-wishers.
  • The art evokes the need to show kindness and love for the less fortunate in urban communities.
  • The kid does not have the material things that the beggar is looking for (the beggar is begging for food or money) but the kid has decided to offer love since she is not able to give what the beggar wants.
  • The art also evokes emotions for people to understand the destructive effects of war on urban societies since the art was drawn based on an Iranian city.
  • It shows the poor conditions of transport infrastructure and the suffering people are undergoing because of war (Street Art Utopia, 2012).
  • The artistic message is intended to encourage people to share love and show kindness,
  • The art’s artistic message provokes action to end the war and bring peace (Gibson, 2001).
  • The artist was trying to communicate the deplorable consequences of war (Gibson, 2001).
  • The artist was also trying to inspire people to show kindness and love even when they do not have material valuables to offer the less fortunate (Street Art Utopia, 2012).
  • People interact with the art by using it to call for the end of war and political instability.
  • People interact with the art by using it to call for development such as improving the bad conditions of transport infrastructure as shown by the road with potholes in the art (Street Art Utopia, 2012).

Based on the consideration of history.

  • The role of art in the local community is to evoke emotional responses for people to show love and kindness to each other (Street Art Utopia, 2012).
  • The art reminds people that they should show love and kindness to all people regardless of their race or origin, gender, or age.
  • For instance, the young girl portrays showing acts of love and care to the adult person, a beggar (Street Art Utopia, 2012).
  • The piece of art comes from Iran and it was taken in an Iranian city.
  • The piece of art has been used to call for the end of the war in Iran.
  • The piece of art has been used to call for Iranian people to show kindness and care for each other.
  • The art was created by an individual and submitted to a collection of Iranian art for activism purposes (Gibson, 2001).

How it is embedded in relationships of Power

  • According to the website, Street of Art Utopia, the art was created for activism purposes.
  • The art’s display is not controlled by anyone but the people who created it for activism.
  • Art can allow people to establish and maintain relationships of power to ensure no political instabilities.
  • The art can help the Iranian government and future leaders to maintain good political relationships of power within their country and also in other countries (Street Art Utopia, 2012).
  • The relationships of power are organized hierarchically by the art showing that there is a need to end the war (Street Art Utopia, 2012).


Street Art Utopia. (2012, March 5). Street Art by ICY and SOT in Iran. Retrieved from

Gibson, L. (2001). The uses of art. 1st ed. St. Lucia: University of Queensland.

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