Maria Papanikolaou is a PhD candidate at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Her research is titled Art & Political Action in Athens 1973-2008-Artistic Interventions in public space.


In her research Maria handles with theoretical issues relevant to urban art, graffiti, activist art, culture jamming and other practices in public space, which are to found on the borderline between two fields: Art and Political Action.


She is currently a Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar at the New York University where she is carrying out the research project From Graffiti in New York to Athens Street Art. In 2008 she won the the Best Thesis Prize of Royal Academy of Arts in The Netherlands for her thesis The Art of Resisting/Art Resisting.




Book Chapter: Papanikolaou M. (2012). Art in Protest. In P. Arapinis (Ed.), Counterculture: The rise of a new social subject (pp. 103-112). Sparta, Greece: Idiomorfi.


Book Chapter: Papanikolaou M. (2015). Diversion: The Original Costakis Collection. In K. Athanasiou, E. Vasdeki, E. Kapetanaki et al. (Eds.), Urban Conflicts (pp. 253-265), Thessaloniki, Greece.




2016: From Graffiti in New York to Athens Street Art. Guest Lecturer at the Undergraduate Course “Creativity in Times of Crisis: Emerging Arts in Athens”, Instructor: Eleftheria Astrinaki,  A.S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies, New York University, New York City, United States.


2016: Graffiti Greeklish: Terminology and Language Issues in the Athenian Graffiti Scene. Guest Lecturer at the Undergraduate Course “Intermediate Modern Greek I”, Instructor: Anna Venetsanos, A.S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies, New York University, New York City, United States.


2015: Female Artists on Human Rights, B3 Biennale of Moving Image, Villa Metzler, Frankfurt, Germany. Foci: Female Street Artists in Europe and the United States, Public Art, and Human Rights. Coordinated by Kelly Gordon, Curator for Film and New Media at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC, United States.


2015: The Notion of Escape. 9th Audiovisual Arts Festival, 5/2015, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece. Foci: Philosophy of Law, History of Art, Public Art, Modern Monumental Art, Memorial Architecture. Invited by: Ioannis Zannos, Director of the Audiovisual Arts Department, Ionian University.


2014: Political discourse in graffiti in Athens: Word & Icon, “Street, Exhibitions, Cyberspace, Cultural Interventions and Structures of Domination”, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Foci: Graffiti and Post-graffiti practices, Street Art in Athens, Legality and figuration in graffiti and street art works. Coordinated by: Lia Yoka, Assistant Professor in History of Art and Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


2013: Spatializing the Crisis. “Imagi(ni)ng ‘Crisis’: Materialities of Seeing and representing in the Greek Critical Conjuncture”, British School at Athens, Greece. Foci: Graffiti and Post-graffiti Practices, Ephemeral Practices in public space, Art and Public Interventions in Athens. Discussant: Eleana Yalouri, Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens, Greece.


2013: Which graffiti is Art? Guest Lecturer at the Undergraduate course “Philosophy and Theory of Art I”, Department of Art Theory and History, Athens School of Fine Arts. Foci: Signature Graffiti, Letter-based Graffiti. Invited by: Fay Zika, Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Theory of Art, Athens School of Fine Arts.


2012: Researching the aesthetics of collective, anonymous and illegal art in Athens. 19th National Intensive Seminar Conference for PhD Candidates: “Methodological Issues in Social Science”, Laboratory of Social Analysis and Applied Social Research, Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Crete. Foci: Primary Data Collection, Participant Observation, Graffiti, Subcultures Coordinated by: Nikos Serdedakis, Assistant Professor in Sociology, Department of  Sociology, University of Crete, Greece.


2012: Death of the Author: The Example of Signature-Graffiti. Guest Lecturer at Seminar on Dialectics, Postgraduate Program in Political Sciences & Sociology, Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, School of Economics and Political Sciences, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Coordinated by: Gerasimos Kouzelis, Professor of Philosophy of Science and Sociology of Knowledge at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Athens, Greece.


2011: Public Intervention Art: Interaction between Text and Figuration. Presentation of my awarded Bachelor Thesis “Activist Art: The Art of Resisting, Art Resisting”. Department of Fine Arts and Art Sciences, University of Ioannina, Greece. Foci: Activist Art, Appropriation Art, Graffiti, Street Art, Art in Public Space, Art of socio-political relevance, Situationism, Culture Jamming. Invited by: Kostas Ioannides, Assistant Professor in History of Art, Athens School of Fine Arts, Greece.