This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Language as material artifact
Inspired by Jan Blommaert give a talk about this, I decided to take a walk to my local post office and take pictures along the way.
Jan's point was that we need as ethnographers to start with the everyday, and lived experience so I decided to start with mine.
Living in Turkish North London, I focused on what I saw.
Jan said here that spaces create multilingual semiotic realisations and in multilingual neighbourhoods (like mine) they jostle together.
They are contested and complex.
I started with the Unitarian Church
where Mary Wollstoncraft once sat
followed by the French Pattisserie next door, where the cakes are fab and everyone speaks French.
Language is materially realised -look at this restaurant above and the sign.
And one can tell what kind of neighbourhood you live in by looking at what newspapers there are in the newsagents.
I love my neighbourhood for this. Tomorrow you get to see INSIDE the shops.