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Listening, Language, and Colonialism on Main Street, Gibraltar

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This essay explores the ways in which listening exists as a means for the maintenance and operationalization of power in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. On Main Street, a struggle between Spanish ways of practicing space and British ways of representing space is played out in a discourse between the soundscapes of spoken Llanito and British nationalistic parades. Utilizing ethnographic research gathered in 2009, and drawing on practice theory and semiotic approaches, I argue that an examination of how people listen on Main Street makes legible the complex power dynamics between Gibraltarians, Spanish-ness, and the British state.

Keywords: Colonialism; Language; Listening; Practice; Soundscape; Urban Space

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-06-01

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