Rethinking Athens as Text: The Linguistic Context of Athenian Graffiti during the Crisis


  • Georgios Stampoulidis Centre for Languages and Literature Lund University


Athenian Graffiti, Crisis, Semiotics, Multimodality


The Athenian graffiti functions as a testament of creativity and artistry occurring during the hard times of socioeconomic and political crisis in Greece the last seven years. The impact of Greece's crisis is unavoidably presented through urban art in downtown Athens. This extensive street art practice on Athenian walls as a linguistic and imagery line is approached in this work via the semiotic and multimodal perspective, as the main symbolic and representative expression generated by the crisis, contributing to the production of visual urban culture. Fieldwork research was conducted in Athens from January to July 2015. The findings of the qualitative analysis highlight that politicized wall writings constitute a modern wall language, expressing social and political messages produced mainly via text and image, reconstructing the wall slogans and murals as the fundamental means of sociopolitical reaction.

Author Biography

Georgios Stampoulidis, Centre for Languages and Literature Lund University

Georgios Stampoulidis received his Bachelor degree in Greek Language and Literature from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Throughout his undergraduate studies his main concern was the investigation of language and its intercommunication functions in public sphere through sociolinguistics and semiotics perspectives. He received his Master degree in Language and Linguistics with specialization in Modern Greek from Lund University in 2016. His Master's thesis project was an illuminating experience detecting how wall language contains some level of political and social commentary and communicates strong messages in the political scenery of each time period.


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How to Cite

Stampoulidis, G. (2016). Rethinking Athens as Text: The Linguistic Context of Athenian Graffiti during the Crisis. Journal of Language Works - Sprogvidenskabeligt Studentertidsskrift, 1(1), 10–23. Retrieved from



SSK - Sprogvidenskabelig Studenterkonference