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Backjumps: writing, watching, erasing train graffiti
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
2016 (English)In: Social Semiotics, ISSN 1035-0330, E-ISSN 1470-1219Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article deals with mobile semiotics. First and foremost, it discusses mobility as a semiotic device. The analysis engages with backjumps, a genre of train graffiti that draws inventively on various forms of movement. The term backjump refers to any fairly elaborate graffiti piece painted on trains in traffic, notably during the trains’ extended stops at terminal stations. The examples focus on the Stockholm metro, where a rigorous anti-graffiti policy has been firmly in place: graffiti is quickly cleaned off trains and a range of strategies is implemented to keep graffiti writing under wraps. By slyly inserting graffiti into the metro system, the mobility-driven backjump practice allows graffiti writers to temporarily subvert this semiotic regime. Furthermore, the forms of semiotic mobility at play are not limited to the movement of the trains. As the present study shows, mobile backjumps are entangled in other patterns of mobility, which jointly underwrite a number of interlinked semiotic processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Graffiti, linguistic/semiotic landscape, mobility, public transportation, space, writing
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Human Geography
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137376DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2016.1200802OAI: diva2:1062233
Available from: 2017-01-04 Created: 2017-01-04 Last updated: 2017-01-09

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Karlander, David
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