Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This article examines the role played by signs in the public space of two socio-economically stratified residential neighbourhoods of Ghent (Belgium) during the first Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. On the basis of fieldwork, we explore the potential of public signs as a resourceful strategy for communicating solidarity and support and the discursive construction of a community affected by this crisis. We show that in times of lockdown and social distancing, the residential linguistic landscape in both neighbourhoods became strategically appropriated by local inhabitants to communicate with neighbours and strangers and was operationalised as a vehicle to serve new communicative functions such as the conveying of solidarity and support as well as gratitude, and collective belonging. Some differences related to emplacement, language use and quantity of signs were also observed. Overall, the article documents the affective appropriation of space through Covid-19 signs during the Covid-19 outbreak and periods of lockdown in Flanders, Belgium.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): affective regime; appropriation; Covid-19 signs; linguistic landscape; solidarity; support
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