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Guerrilla Memory: Street Art and Play Engraving the Memory of Martyrs in Urban Spaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-482
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This paper introduces the concept of guerrilla memory as a strategy
for transmitting historical memory that: 1) makes use of unconventional
communication techniques, 2) moves the space/time dedicated to the
memory in everyday life and 3) focuses on a humanized take on the events,
often embodied by one or more martyrs. The paper, after introducing this
concept, offers background on the semiotic studies of urban spaces and
memory, thereby delimiting a framework of analysis. This framework is
then applied to several case studies: three dealing with street art (the murals
dedicated to Giusepper Prono by Zerocalcare, the Stolpertein by the German
artist Gunter Demning and the Memorial Bridge situated in Rijeka, Croatia)
and three with games and play (the digital game September 12, the historical
re–enactment of a Nazi raid in Venaria and the larp Ultimo Covo). The
conclusions focus on how these systems offer several enticing and novel tools
for the transmission of memory.


  • Urban Semiotics, Semiotics of Memory, Street Art, Urban Games, Martyrs

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland