Queering the Urban Space

The Adventures of Inspector Yoda the Wrinkled in Belgrade, Serbia

  • Srdan Tunic Street Art Walks Belgrade
Keywords: queer street art, Serbia, LGBTQ , artivism, stencils

Abstract

Inspector Yoda the Wrinkled (Inspektor Yoda Zgužvani) is an artivist project by Nikola Herman (alias Nikša), who also involved his pug Yoda in creating a street art alter ego to bring critical commentary and humor to the streets of Belgrade, Serbia, between 2014 and 2018. Inspector’s work is closely intertwined with the LGBTQ+ history and street art interventions in Belgrade over the past two decades. It provides an example of a locally contextualized and critical appropriation of the concept and term queer (in Serbian, kvar, which literally translates to “malfunction”). In nearly 200 graffiti and visual messages, Inspector Yoda the Wrinkled playfully appropriated vernacular language, often subverting their meaning, and offering an important gender and social critique in the nationalistic and sometimes violent public space of Belgrade in the mid-2010s. It is paramount to look at these interventions in a contextualized and embodied manner: as situational artworks which serve as tools of queer place-making. The stenciled little pug with speech balloons that Nikša used to tag the city may be seen as a sign of resistance and hope within an environment prone to desensitization to violence and general apathy.

Published
2024-05-07
How to Cite
Tunic, S. (2024). Queering the Urban Space. SAUC - Street Art and Urban Creativity, 10(1), 72 - 89. https://doi.org/10.25765/sauc.v10i1.920