"These are Our Four Walls": Zagreb Pride Slogans as a Tactic of Space Appropriation



Spatial placement of signs, discourses, and human actions is not only crucial for their understanding but also indicative of the social positioning and relationships of power in the social arena. In this paper, we focus on semiotic practices that are socioculturally unauthorized, that violate expectations and conventions, that are transgressive. Following Shugart's definition of appropriation, we analyse the means of the appropriation of urban space taking place during Gay Pride parades in Zagreb. We focus on slogans and approach them as bottom-up tactics used by a marginalized group to wrench power and prestige away from dominant groups, adjusting the city centre to its own needs and purposes. Here, space is used as a semiotic resource for symbolic and real appropriation, employed to communicate political meanings and to struggle for the group's own rights. The written discourse of slogans interacts with the visual semiotic mode that we also take into consideration. We analyse them combining critical discourse analysis and the semiotic analysis of space and landscapes.


slogans (Zagreb Pride); appropriation; semiotic landscapes; transgressive semiotics

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096