Towards an Understanding of Wartime Residues Typifying Syrian Pictorial Genres: A Socio-Semiotic Perspective

Latifa Neïli

Abstract


This study is an attempt to understand manifestations of psychological residues in the non-verbal discourse appertaining to Syrians who witnessed the period of warfare in Syria. It seeks to mull over the propositional content communicated in an assemblage of Syrian child refugees’ drawings and Syrian citizens’ graffiti. It also aims to convey the extent to which such pictorial genres reflect their traumatic experience along with their dilemma of agony and resilience. Essential to such an investigation is a social semiotic framework set out by Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996, 2006) in their pioneering study on the grammar of visual design. This theory is applied to the corpus so as to reveal eminent and thorny themes through unveiling the interaction among several semiotic resources. A descriptive-analytic approach is adopted to enquire the significance of interactive and represented participants in an image. The choice of Syrians’ creative expressions as simulacra of reality is motivated by the assumption that they are pregnant with profound meanings that echo wartime repercussions left in their psyches.


Keywords


psychological residues, non-verbal discourse, propositional content, represented participants, traumatic experience, social semiotic framework.

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