WP279 Constructing spaces of otherwise: Performing a politics through Linguistic Citizenship



This paper aims to make visible the alternative social projects hidden beneath everyday Crimean Tatar landscapes. Drawing on audio recordings and field data from narrated walking tours led by young citizens, it illuminates how these spaces of otherwise emerge and are co-constructed through participants’ re-readings of material artefacts, resemiotisation of place, and resignification of communal spaces. For Povinelli (2011a: 7), a space of otherwise is a social project in a state of ‘indeterminate oscillation’ consisting of ‘interlocking concepts, materials, and forces’. Participants navigate among such spaces, negotiating the legacies of historical acts of material, cultural, and linguistic dispossession and disruption, and the contemporary forms that such acts take. In narrating semiotic landscapes, participants perform acts of linguistic citizenship (Stroud, 2001, 2018), a concept which recognises that speakers express agency, voice, and participation through a variety of semiotic means; engage or disengage with political institutions of the state; and advance claims for alternative forms of belonging. This paper thus expands linguistic landscape research through its design as a linguistic ethnography (LE), using interactional data to account for individuals’ perceptions of lived spaces and spatial practices. It also adds to research on linguistic citizenship by foregrounding invisibilised linguistic repertoires and performative acts of meaning-making in a charged political context.