Johann Petitjean

Inscribing, Writing and Drawing in the Prisons of the Inquisition. Methodological Issues and Research Perspectives on Graffiti

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Graffiti; Prison; Inquisition; Word/Image; Penitence.

This paper presents a model to analyse graffiti in the renewed perspective of a social and cultural anthropology of writing. It uses concepts and methods from various fields of study (such as paleography, linguistics or history of art) to decipher the different types of scripts or drawings composed in confinement. From the walls of Steri-Chiaramonte Palace where the Spanish Inquisition in Sicily incarcerated «heretics», renegades or blasphemers along with political dissidents, it interprets writings as speech(less) acts made by the prisoners to both document and surpass their experience by a graphic re-appropriation of the place and time of imprisonment.

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