Stories of Resistance in Greek Street Art: A Cognitive-Semiotic Approach

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In line with cognitive semiotics, this paper suggests a synthetic account of the important but controversial notion of narrative (in street art, and more generally): one that distinguishes between three levels: (a) narration and (b) underlying story, and (c) underlying master story. I propose that recent Greek street art visualizes in many cases an antagonistic situation of Greece against a Powerful Other, with historical parallels. The analysis is mainly based on three contemporary street artworks and two political cartoons from the 1940s, narrating the same underlying master story, which may be labeled as “Greece vs. Powerful Enemy.” The study is built on fieldwork research that was carried out during several periods in central Athens since 2014, including photo documentation and go-along interviews with street artists. The qualitative analyses with the help of the conceptual-empirical loop show that single static images do not so much narrate stories (i.e. primary narrativity), but rather presuppose such (master) stories, which they can prompt or trigger. Notably, the significance of background sociocultural experience and contextual knowledge that the viewer must recruit in order to reconstruct the narrative potential with the help of secondary narrativity is stressed.


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TidskriftThe Public Journal of Semiotics
StatusSubmitted - 2019 jul 1
Peer review utfördJa

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