WP277 “Us for ourselves”: Enregistering and de-escalating Coronavirus under nervous conditions

Fabrício & Melo
Collection: Key word


In this paper, we explore how attention to language and communication has been one of the strategies to combat the pandemic and foster health justice in the deprived areas of the city. To investigate such aspect, we draw on the conceptions of enregisterment (Agha 2007), de-escalation (Carr & Fish 2016) and orders of indexicality (Blommaert, 2005). We focus on practices of ?pragmatic survival? (Oliviera, 2019) enacted by Mar? Mobilization Front. Its organizers have put efforts on semiotic labor to produce and disseminate communication material about Covid-19 in accessible language. Such action has generated prolific textual chains that we set out to track. The analysis of part of this trail shows that democratization of communication in the present crisis means confronting a colonial time-space. Semiosis is the confrontation weapon local communicators deploy to reorder sign assemblages and change participants? perception of an otherwise alien and distant health phenomenon. We argue that strategic enregisterment and scaling are allies that may fuel creative imagination.