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Accepted Paper:

Unheard voices of a rebel city: re-appropriation of rights through the city walls  
Maria Rosaria Esposito (University of Cologne)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates the Linguistic Landscape of the Centro Storico district in Naples, Italy, through the lens of graffiti as an Agency tool for dwellers claiming the right to the city in the context of mass tourism.

Paper long abstract:

Mainstream narratives around tourist cities rarely offer a critical view of mass tourism, while alternative perspectives around this phenomenon do not find place in the public discourse. Short-term mobility in form of mass tourism affects the social environment of local communities, which do not own powerful tools to make their needs heard in this changing context.

The aim of this paper is to shed a light on linguistic processes taking place in a Neapolitan district dealing with a recent wave of mass tourism through the analysis of its Linguistic Landscape: how do city dwellers express their needs within a contested space? What kind of society are they proposing? Through which linguistic medium are their needs expressed and why?

The observation of the Linguistic Landscape of the district, focusing on graffiti, is an effective method in order to uncover discourses that would be otherwise overlooked. I will analyze pictures taken by myself in the Centro Storico district, an area characterized by forms of re-appropriation of physical and political spaces in time of crisis. I will investigate what the linguistic manifestations on the city walls can tell us about social processes taking place behind them. By doing this, I will focus on the role of graffiti as a form of Agency, in the attempt to re-shape the society starting by the city walls. I will also highlight how the subject of mass tourism is connected to other discourses around the right to the city.

Panel P061
Linguistic agency and responsibility in (im-)mobility
  Session 1 Friday 17 August, 2018, -