Linguistic Landscape of Hong Kong 2019-20 Protests: A mediated Discourse Analysis of Political Graffiti
From 2019 to 2020, Hong Kong faced public unrest due to the Anti-Extradition Bill Movement. Political graffiti became a prevalent way to express dissent and different perspectives. This study uses linguistic landscape theory to examine the sociolinguistic and political characteristics of the graffiti that emerged during the protests. The goal is to highlight the counter-narratives that developed during this time. The findings, based on primary data (photos of graffiti) and secondary data (newspaper reports and social media posts on graffiti) collected from August 2019 to February 2020, suggest that protesters aimed to push forward the discourse on Hong Kong as a global economic hub that is succumbing to ‘mainlandization.’ As a result, much of the graffiti was written in English and other global languages. Although many of these messages were insightful and timely, some promoted radical ideas.