Exploring 2020 #ENDSARS Protests’ Components in Nigeria within the Schematics of Social Semiotics / Explorando os componentes dos protestos #ENDSARS de 2020 na Nigéria dentro dos esquemas da semiótica social

Taofeek O. Dalamu, Ke Yang


Abstract: This study examined the semiotic resources of the October 2020 #ENDSARS protests in Nigeria, manifesting the affordances operational in the protests. The investigation beckoned on 13 different communicative semiotic configurations, employing Halliday’s grammatical group rank, to delineate the structures. This paved the way for tables and graphs to account for the written modes’ recurrent components. Kinesics such as proxemics, gestures, and gaze supported the analysis, providing relevant semantic implications to non-verbal elements and body language of protesters. This investigation indicated that #ENDSARS hashtag, functioned in variegated forms, as the initiator of the protest, socializing people even without notable leaders. The texts illustrated the suffering of the people from SARS operatives’ gun-punch coercion, as exemplified in a boy-like image’s head, and the cry of agony illuminated through a gestural movement of mouths and hands. Parallel to that is the metaphorical castigation of an innocent young man, manifested through chained hands. Significantly, the research revealed the collective unanimity of the protesters, demonstrated through clenched fists, epitomizing camaraderie of purpose. The protesters made their call to abrogate SARS operations pleasurably-funny in the appearance of a clown and a sacrificial lamb. Given that the idea of social justice is non-negotiable. Demanding a just course should not lead to brutality; the government should rather respond to the request of protesters to fulfill promises made during electioneering campaigns.

Resumo: Este estudo examinou os recursos semióticos dos protestos #ENDSARS de outubro de 2020 na Nigéria, manifestando as affordances operacionais nos protestos gráficos para explicar as escolhas componentes recorrentes dos modos escritos. Dispositivos cinéticos como proxêmica, gestos e olhar apoiaram a análise, fornecendo implicações semânticas relevantes para elementos não verbais e linguagem corporal dos manifestantes. Essa exploração indicou que a hashtag #ENDSARS ocorria de formas variadas, funcionando como iniciadora do protesto, socializando as pessoas para agirem em uníssono mesmo sem líderes notáveis. Os textos ilustravam o sofrimento das pessoas pela coerção dos agentes da SARS, usando o cano e a furadeira, exemplificado na cabeça de uma imagem de menino, e o grito de agonia iluminado por um movimento gestual de bocas e mãos. Paralelo a isso está o castigo metafórico de um jovem inocente, manifestado por meio de mãos acorrentadas. Significativamente, a pesquisa revelou a unidade coletiva dos manifestantes, demonstrada através dos punhos cerrados, simbolizando a solidariedade de propósito. Os manifestantes fizeram seu apelo para revogar as operações da SARS de forma prazerosa - engraçada na aparência de um palhaço e um cordeiro sacrificado. Diante disso, pode-se sugerir que a ideia de justiça social não é negociável. Exigir um curso justo não deve levar à brutalidade; o governo deveria antes atender ao pedido dos manifestantes, como forma de cumprir as promessas feitas durante as campanhas eleitorais.


#ENDSARS; below the clause; kinesics; social justice; social semiotics; abaixo da cláusula; cinésica; justiça social; semiótica social.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17851/2237-2083.31.3.1136-1183


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