WP291 Manoeuvres of dissent in dispossession



Protest has become a hot topic in recent sociolinguistic and semiotic landscapes scholarship. Despite a growing number of studies, little research has been done on dissent as it is jointly orchestrated by individuals and objects. To fill this gap, this paper builds on previous semiotic landscapes studies (Bock & Stroud, 2019) and offers an analysis of political action as it is produced in the ‘nooks and crannies’ of everyday life (Besnier, 2009; Scott, 1990). Interrogating participants’ memories of dispossession, the paper brings to the fore their experiences of the manoeuvring required to enact dissent. The performative acts that they describe involve situated context-sensitive intentional decisions to protest, both in and out of the public eye. The acts of manoeuvring require thoughtthrough calculation, ongoing readjustment, and reinvention on the part of the protesters as they respond to the calls of their immediate material environment. As interviews and photographic data collected in Crimea illuminate, individuals find recourse to things, but things affect individual actors too, hence suggesting that language and other semiotic markers of belonging come to be experienced as a complex multimodal phenomenon in the everyday manoeuvres of protest.