13 October 2022 Documenting Athens, Greece

For nearly a decade, Adjunct Professor in Media and Society Julia Tulke has been documenting political street art in Athens, Greece. Her research has received international acclaim.

Julia Tulke

Julia Tulke

Adjunct Professor in Media and Society and last year's Fisher Center predoctoral fellow Julia Tulke has won the International Visual Sociology Association's Prosser Award for outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies.

Tulke received the award for her research project, Aesthetics of Crisis, which has documented political street art and graffiti in Athens, Greece since 2013.

“The project was recognized for its longitudinal approach,” says Tulke, a Ph.D. candidate in visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester. “I first went to Athens to conduct research for my MA thesis in European ethnology at Humboldt University of Berlin in 2013 but have continued to return at least once every year since, documenting new developments and currents. … As such, my work points to the value of street art and graffiti as a way of rendering visible gradual changes in urban landscapes over time.”

Tulke decided to focus on Athens because it became Europe's "symbolic epicenter of crisis" in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 Great Recession. Her research has generated an archive of more than 6,700 photographs, collected through her photo walks, interviews with artists and activists, several publications, and invited talks.

Tulke's Photography


Noting that she has a strong commitment to public scholarship, Tulke says that most of her materials are available via her research website, https://aestheticsofcrisis.org, and Flickr https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDVc1uN.

“My photographs have been exhibited and published in several settings but, more importantly, have supported the work of a range of fellow researchers and educators,” she says.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Prosser Award—and still somewhat in shock,” Tulke says. “I am particularly moved by its recognition of my commitment to longitudinal engagement and public scholarship, open access, and ongoing collaboration and dialogue.”

The Prosser Awards Program was established in 2015 to recognize outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies, according to the International Visual Sociology Association. Winners receive a certificate of merit, a cash prize of $1,000, and an invitation to publish digital representations of their work through the association’s website.

For the 10th anniversary of her research project, Tulke is working on Aesthetics of Crisis: Political Street Art and Graffiti in Athens, 2013-2023, a book project under contract with the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota.