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The performativity of the body: Turbulent spaces in Greece

Journal article
Authors E. Dimitris Kitis
Tommaso M. Milani
Published in Linguistic Landscape: An International Journal
Volume 1
Issue 3
Pages 268
ISSN 2214-9953
Publication year 2015
Published at
Pages 268
Language en
Keywords protests, Greece, performativity, turbulence, bodies, materiality
Subject categories Languages and Literature, Communication Studies


This article explores the “performativity of the body” (Butler, 2011) using ‘anarchic’ and ‘anti-authoritarian’ protests in Greece as empirical starting points. We analyze the ways in which bodies speak politically by producing spatial turbulence in interaction with other bodies, and the materiality of urban environments. In doing so, we seek to contribute to the expansion of linguistic landscape scholarship into what Peck and Stroud (2015) call corporeal sociolinguistics. Our analysis of platform events (supermarket expropriations, smashing of CCTV-cameras, inscriptions of urban surfaces) and confrontational encounters (bloc formations, “dous”) illustrates spatial and affective tactics through which bodies in movement contest economic and political arrangements by appropriating, re-configuring and re-signifying sections of urban spaces.

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