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Hakuna Matata: Das T-Shirt als Linguistic Landscape auf Sansibar

Researcher: Cassandra Gerber
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Anne Storch

The motto T-shirt with its stereotypical motifs - a list of words in Swahili purporting to denote typical things about a country, an oriental female figure, African variations on common pop cultural images - can be a globally produced souvenir or a T-shirt sold on online platforms as well as on the streets of shopping promenades. The T-shirt is an emblematic garment that expresses a certain attitude towards life or even a sense of belonging to a place. As my research object, it will be embedded as a material object in the context of diverse semiotic online and offline landscapes.

With my project I would like to contribute to the research of language or signs in touristic places in the form of the multimodal and mobile T-shirt in connection with other materials. Sociolinguistic theoretical fields such as semiotic landscapes will be theorized and reflected as a research field. Online and offline spaces will be considered in my ethnographic fieldwork: Travel destinations like Zanzibar or Mallorca, the island of Sylt, zoos and amusement parks, and online stores like spreadshirt.de. The data I have collected is intended to provide an overview of the landscapes that a garment can create and tell stories about.