Reflexive Graffiti Remixing: Curriculum, Corsican Language, and Critical Pedagogy

Megan Cotnam-Kappel


Corsica is an island covered in graffiti. These painted messages devastate/decorate the walls of cities, towns, schools and homes. They have also spread to natural sites that include rocks, trees and mountains. A number of curricular questions arise in regards to graffiti as literacy and in particular regarding the corsican endangered language: Is graffiti a performance of the aesthetics of vulnerability of a minority language? Could graffitied symbols represent a linguistic affirmation of Coriscan identity? And what could engaging with these graffiti bring to canadian curricular studies regarding minority languages? The following auto/ethno/graphy attemps to answer these curricular questions as it (de)constructs a bricolage of personal photographs taken of Corsican graffiti as well as my narrative as a Canadian doctoral candidate studying in Corsica. It begins by tracing the a/r/to- and auto/ethno- graphic research framework that shapes my research and analysis. Subsequently, this paper explores various methods of researching graffiti which include reading graffiti as praxis, marginalia and empowerment. I also discuss students’ possible roles in (re)reading graffiti as an opportunity to remix and as an opening for developing critical literacy skills. In order to share my ongoing reflexive process as a researcher, my personal narrative is included throughout the paper. I have chosen to relate this narrative in French – my mother tongue and one of two minoritized languages that are at the heart of my research. This paper therefore (re)mixes English, French and Corsican throughout with as little translation possible to engage readers in a plurilingual reading experience.


curriculum studies; minority language; reflexivity;remixing; graffiti; auto ethnography; corsica;

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