Professor at the Institute of Hispanic Language and Literatures at the University of Bern (Switzerland), where she directs the Linguistics section. Her research fields focus on critical sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, and sociocultural linguistics. From these perspectives, she studies peripheral varieties of Spanish, especially Ladino or Judeo-Spanish, as well as semiotic manifestations of migration with a focus on linguistic identities and ideologies.
Semiotic landscape, voice and mediatisation in social media a propos of the Afro-Peruvian community
The Afro-descendant community in Peru is relatively small, making up around 2.8% of the population, with Lima having the highest concentration at 26%. Barranco, a district in Lima known for its tourist appeal, also has a significant Afro-Peruvian population. On October 3, 2022, the street Jirón Domeyer in Barranco was defaced with a racist slogan: “No negros en Barranco” (No Blacks in Barranco). Surprisingly, this racist graffiti received minimal media coverage in the capital, unlike a previous incident in the same district. However, social media played a crucial role in publicizing the event and promoting acts of resistance. Afro-Peruvian activists and influential figures in the political and cultural spheres shared photos and videos on their social networks, drawing attention to the issue. In this analysis, the focus is on the acts of citizen agency and resistance, giving a powerful voice to the deeply marginalized Afro-descendant minority in Peru. The convening power of social networks in fueling these resistance movements is highlighted. These acts are essential in shaping the semiotic landscape, not only asserting a voice but also explicitly claiming a sense of place and belonging for Afro-descendant citizens in Barranco. The intervention sheds light on the significance of these actions and the importance of recognizing and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities in the country.