School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Alba Griffin

Postgraduate Research Student


I am an ESRC-funded PhD candidate in Latin American and Iberian Studies. My research explores violence, power and inequality in Colombia, with a focus on art, culture and representation. I graduated from Manchester University in 2010 with a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages and from Newcastle University in 2013 with an MA in Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies. I have previously worked in the arts and publishing sectors, as well as in project management. 

English (native)
Spanish (fluency in spoken and written)
French (fluency in spoken and written)
Portuguese (beginner’s level written and spoken) 



Dr Nick Morgan, Lecturer in Latin American Studies, School of Modern Languages

Dr Kyle Grayson, Senior Lecturer in International Politics, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

PhD Project

Reading the walls in Bogota: Imaginaries of violence in the urban visual landscape.

My PhD thesis examines urban imaginaries of violence in Bogota, Colombia, through the lens of graffiti and street art. I explore the ways in which these forms of urban intervention draw attention to the textures of violence in everyday urban space, with special attention paid to the interplay between different manifestations of violence; from political violence to structural and symbolic inequality. Drawing on ethnographic and reception studies approaches, my research speaks not only to the processes of intervening in the urban visual landscape but also to the ways in which the wider public engage with, and construct, imaginaries of violence through their interpretations of graffiti and street art.

Popular Culture; Colombia; Ethnography; Reception; Violence; Conflict and Peace; Graffiti; Street Art; Urban Studies; Politics


  • Paper presented at 'Pigment and Power: seeing Latin America through street art', London School of Economics, February 2019 
  • Paper presented at 'Artivismo: The place of art and politics in Latin America', University of Cambridge, November 2018
  • Paper presented at Society for Latin American Studies Annual Conference 2018 on the panel 'Street Art, Space, and Politics in Latin America: Urban Visions from an Emerging Field' 
  • Paper presented at 'Colombia after the Peace Accords: New Challenges, New Paths Forward from a Multidisciplinary Perspective', University of Oxford, December 2017
  • Co-organiser, chair and presenter at 'La paz es ahora? Examining the question of peace and violence in Colombia', Newcastle University, September 2017 (paper entitled The everydayness of political violence and the politics of everyday violence in Bogota’s urban visual landscape)
  • Paper presented at European International Studies Association Conference 2017 on the panel ‘Dislocating Geopower: New Approaches to Space, Culture, and Violence in World Politics’ (paper entitled Negotiating violence in Bogota's urban visual landscape)
  • Paper presented at 'Researching Everyday Geopolitics in Latin America', Newcastle University, September 2017 (paper entitled Graffiti and Street Art: Reading and Writing Urban Imaginaries of Violence)
  • Paper presented at Latin American Studies Annual Conference 2017 on the panel 'Space, Violence and Memory: the impact of imaginative geographies in Latin America' (paper entitled The limits of representing violence in Bogota's urban visual landscape)


  • LAS4010 Cultura y Politica en Colombia
  • LAS2028 Diversidad Cultural en America Latina
  • SML1018 Introduction to Literature
  • SML1022 Introduction to Cultural Studies
  • SPA4008 Youth Cultures in Spain, Portugal and Latin America
  • SML1023 Language for Business Spanish