discurso polÃtico (DP) y/o desde el discurso multimodal (DM) en Chile o en el ... que el discurso de Rebel Diaz desafÃa al discurso hegemÃ³nico a travÃ©s de la.
UNIVERSIDAD DE SANTIAGO DE CHILE FACULTAD DE HUMANIDADES Departamento de Lingüística y Literatura
INTERSEMIOTICALLY RECOVERING THE SUBALTERNS’ MEMORY IN POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS RAP: DUO REBEL DIAZ’S LINGUISTIC AND VISUAL TEXTS. LESLIE ALEJANDRA COLIMA RUBILAR
Profesor guía: Miguel Ángel Farías Farías
Tesis para obtener el Grado de Magíster en Lingüística Mención Teorías del Aprendizaje de la Lengua Inglesa
Santiago, Chile 2016
© Leslie Alejandra Colima Rubilar, 2016 Algunos derechos reservados. Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-Sin Derivadas Chile 3.0.
Abstract Academic interest in Rap has experienced a considerable increase in the last decades. In fact, a proliferation of studies trying to account for the phenomenon from various disciplines can be found in the international context. Nonetheless, politically conscious Rap has rarely been the subject of research endeavors from the perspective of political discourse (PD) and/or multimodal discourse (MD) either in Chile or abroad. As follows, the present investigation was aimed at demonstrating a few of the ways in which subalterns’ historical memory is recovered in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s resistance political discourse by focusing attention on the semiotic choices introduced in their linguistic and visual texts. In order to achieve this objective, a multimodal critical discourse analysis was carried out. The linguistic texts were examined by means of Chilton and Schäffner’s “Political Discourse Model of Analysis” (2004), whereas an adaptation of Pennycook’s “Intertextual Relations” contained in his “Ways into Texts” unpublished model (2009), together with a series of visual concepts, was applied to confront the visual texts. The findings of this thesis showed that Rebel Diaz’s discourse challenges the hegemonic discourse through the intersemiotic recovering of the subalterns’ historical memory. Key Words Politically Conscious Rap, Political Discourse, Resistance, Subaltern, Historical Memory, Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies (MCDS)
Resumen El interés académico en el Rap ha experimentado un incremento considerable en las últimas décadas. De hecho, es posible encontrar una proliferación de estudios en el contexto internacional que dan cuenta del fenómeno desde variadas disciplinas. No obstante, el Rap políticamente consciente ha sido escasamente objeto de investigación desde la perspectiva del discurso político (DP) y/o desde el discurso multimodal (DM) en Chile o en el extranjero. Por consiguiente, la presente investigación tuvo por objetivo demostrar algunas de las formas en que la memoria histórica de los subalternos es recuperada en el discurso político de resistencia del dúo de Rap Rebel Diaz, prestando atención a las elecciones semióticas introducidas en sus textos lingüísticos y visuales. Para alcanzar este objetivo, un análisis del discurso crítico multimodal fue llevado a cabo. Los textos lingüísticos fueron examinados mediante el “Political Discourse Model of Analysis” de Chilton y Schäffner (2004), mientras que una adaptación de las “Intertextual Relations” de Pennycook, parte de “Ways into Texts”, su modelo no publicado (2009), junto con una serie de conceptos visuales, fueron utilizadas para confrontar los textos visuales. Los resultados de esta tesis mostraron que el discurso de Rebel Diaz desafía al discurso hegemónico a través de la recuperación intersemiótica de la memoria histórica de los subalternos. Palabras clave Rap Políticamente Consciente, Discurso Político, Resistencia, Subalterno, Memoria Histórica, Estudios Críticos del Discurso (ECD), Estudios Críticos del Discurso Multimodal (ECDM).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... 3 Resumen........................................................................................................................................ 4 Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 8 1
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK ................................................................................................. 10 1.1
Political Discourse ................................................................................................. 10
Protest song .......................................................................................................... 13
Hip Hop Culture and Rap ....................................................................................... 15
Subaltern Studies .................................................................................................. 19
Referential Framework ................................................................................................. 10
Conceptual Framework ................................................................................................. 20
Critical Discourse Studies ...................................................................................... 20
Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies ................................................................... 22
Discourse .............................................................................................................. 23
Intertextuality ....................................................................................................... 24
Political Discourse, hegemony and resistance ....................................................... 25
Hegemonic discourse ............................................................................................ 26
Subaltern .............................................................................................................. 27
Historical memory................................................................................................. 29
THE STUDY ........................................................................................................................... 31 2.1
Research Questions ...................................................................................................... 31
General objective ......................................................................................................... 31
Specific objectives ........................................................................................................ 31
Type of research study .................................................................................................. 32
Methodology ................................................................................................................ 32
Political Discourse Model of Analysis..................................................................... 32
Intertextual Relations............................................................................................ 34
Visual concepts ..................................................................................................... 35
Corpus .......................................................................................................................... 36
Procedures ................................................................................................................... 37
ANALYSIS.............................................................................................................................. 39 3.1
“I’m an alien”................................................................................................................ 39
Linguistic analysis .................................................................................................. 39
Visual analysis ....................................................................................................... 44
Linguistic analysis .................................................................................................. 48
Visual analysis ....................................................................................................... 54
“Revolution has come” ................................................................................................. 56
Linguistic analysis .................................................................................................. 56
Visual analysis ....................................................................................................... 61
“Craazy” ....................................................................................................................... 48
“American spring” ........................................................................................................ 64
Linguistic analysis .................................................................................................. 64
Visual analysis ....................................................................................................... 69
RESULTS ............................................................................................................................... 74 4.1
Linguistic mode............................................................................................................. 74
Visual mode.................................................................................................................. 81
Linguistic and visual modes........................................................................................... 85
CONCLUSIONS AND PROJECTIONS ............................................................................................... 92 References ................................................................................................................................... 95 Appendixes ................................................................................................................................ 104
Index of figures Figure 1: Intertextual Relations………………………………………………….……………………...…35 Figure 2: Rebel Diaz’s videos………………………………………………….…………………………..37 Figure 3: I’m an alien. Frame 1…………………….……………………………………………………...44 Figure 4: I’m an alien. Frame 2…………….……………………………………………………………...45 Figure 5: I’m an alien. Frame 3…………….……………………………………………………………...46 Figure 6: I’m an alien. Frame 4……………………………………………………………………………47 Figure 7: Craazy. Frame 1…………………………………………………………………………………54 Figure 8: Crazy. Frame 2………………………….….……………………………………………………55 Figure 9: Revolution. Frame 1.……………………………………………………….……………………61 Figure 10: Revolution. Frame 2………………………….………………………………………………..62 Figure 11: Revolution. Frame 3.…………………………………………………………………………..63 Figure 12: American spring. Frame 1………………………………………………..…………………..69 Figure 13: American spring. Frame 2………………………………………………..…………………..70 Figure 14: American spring. Frame 3…………………………………………………..………………..71 Figure 15: American spring. Frame 4...……………………………………………….…..……………..72 Figure 16: Summary of descriptors in the linguistic texts analyzed. …………….…….……………..77 Figure 17: Functions of speech acts……………………………….……………………………………..80 Figure 18: Functions of lexical-semantic fields ………………………..………………………………..81 Figure 19: Summary of descriptors in the visual texts analyzed ……………………………….……..82 Figure 20: Summary of descriptors in the linguistic / visual texts analyzed. ………………….…..…86
Introduction Rap, one of the most prominent elements belonging to Hip Hop Culture, has definitely captured academic attention in the last decade (Sarkar, Winer and Sarkar, 2005), being, in fact, a recurrent object of study among scholars from a diversity of areas in the social sciences. This academic interest has led to numerous relevant investigations, mainly from the point of view of sociolinguistics, critical pedagogies and cultural studies (Rose, 1993; Potter, 1995, Dimitriadis, 2001; Ibrahim, 2003; Keyes, 2002, 2004; Pardue, 2005; Alim, 2006a, 2006b; Pennycook, 2007a, 2007b; Mitchell, 2008). However, little is known about politically conscious Rap from the point of view of political discourse (PD) and/or multimodal discourse (MD), neither nationally nor internationally speaking. This is translated into a completely new area of study to be explored; thus, the purpose of the current enquiry was to approach politically conscious Rap as resistance political discourse from a multimodal critical perspective. In specific, we intended to demonstrate the intersemiotic recovering of the subalterns’ historical memory in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s linguistic and visual texts. Social injustice, expressed at fairly different levels, has been a serious problem in human history, transversally affecting societies, and present until today. This first statement assumes the existence of dominant social groups that have enforced their power, on the one hand, and groups that have been subjugated, on the other. That is to say, a constant tension between two poles: those who determinedly try to maintain their position of power, the status quo, and those who desperately try to free themselves from their oppressed condition. Certainly, from among these oppressed segments of society, different forms of uprising have taken place in order to fight back injustice. In this context, the Hip Hop Culture represents a “marginal youth arts movement” (Low, Sarkar & Winer, 2009: 61) of resistance against an oppressive system. Since its beginnings in the 1970’s, Hip Hop Culture has been tightly linked to a segregated part of society. In fact, it is possible to assert that its rise was the result of the persistent segregation suffered by certain groups of people in the United States, such as the African American and Hispanic communities (Low, Sarkar & Winer, 2009). Therefore, Hip Hop Culture must be understood not only as an expression of nonconformity against segregationist and oppressive practices engrained in the system, but also as an area of political protest and resistance in which its practitioners are allowed to seek for and, even, demand real changes leading to social justice. Rap, as one of the four elements of Hip Hop Culture - Graffiti, Breakdancing and DJing being the others - (Keyes, 2002), definitely represents an expression of struggle against the social injustice suffered by minorities. Rap lyrics, often loaded with incisive outspoken messages, tackle sensitive issues like institutional racism, police brutality, poverty, corporate control over the media, etc. However, the type of Rap we are talking about - noncommercial/underground/independent - is what has been labelled as Conscious Rap (Sarkar and Allen, 2007), Politically Conscious Rap (Roth-Gordon, 2009) or Committed Rap (Asfura, 2011). We make the assumption that this type of
Rap can perfectly be seen as the new manifestation of the protest song due to its concern with social justice; however, it has nothing to do with the more popular variety of Rap known as gangsta Rap, easily recognized by its lighter lyrics. Even though both Politically Conscious Rap and Gangsta Rap share a common root as they arise from an underprivileged segment of society, their stances are diametrically opposed (Krims, 2000), and only Politically Conscious Rap can be categorized under the umbrella term protest song. Undoubtedly, Rap, as a marginal expression against the system that loudly denounces social injustice and aims at transforming society, has attracted some researchers (Martinez, 1997; Keyes, 2004; Kitwana, 2004; Lusane, 2004; Sarkar, 2009) who have invested their efforts in attempts to give full account of the phenomenon. These efforts are indeed valid, but still insufficient in number and, therefore, countless social, linguistic and cultural aspects have not yet been covered. Politically Conscious Rap, in particular, has seldom been approached as political discourse and/or multimodal discourse in the past. This reflects a lack of investigation that certainly needs to be covered. In this fashion, the present investigation that covers both the lyrics and videos independently produced by a politically conscious rap group, is informed by the traditions of Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) (van Dijk, 2001; Fairclough, 1995, 2003; Wodak 2001; Fairclough and Wodak, 1997, 2004), Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) in Latin America (van Dijk, 1993, 2003b, 2007; Pardo, 2007; Farías, 2015) and the new strand of analysis known as Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies (MCDS) (Machin and Mayr, 2012; Machin and Richardson, 2012; Machin, 2013; Djonov and Zhao, 2014). We believe in the interplay between social and discourse structures, in other words, discourse as capable of conveying ideologies and power relations. Notwithstanding, how ideology and power are expressed through institutional discourses is not our only or main concern; quite the opposite, how those official discourses are resisted by those who are not in power is one of our first and foremost interests. That is the reason why we openly and responsibly take a critical stand towards social injustice by listening to those whose voices have historically been silenced. Thereafter, this thesis is organized in four comprehensive parts. In the first chapter of this investigation, a review of the literature -to show the state of the art in different fields pertinent to this study- is offered. There is also a framing of the most important concepts that need to be addressed in order to fully understand the bases and the scope of the current investigation. In the second chapter, the methodological framework is presented, including the description of the two models of analysis: Chilton and Schäffner’s “Political Discourse Model of Analysis” (2004) and adaptation of Pennycook’s “Intertextual Relations” contained in his “Ways into Texts” unpublished model (2009), as well as a series of visual concepts. The third chapter is devoted to the analysis of Rebel Diaz’s linguistic and visual texts using the models previously mentioned, and also to our critical interpretations of the data. Finally, in the fourth chapter, our most relevant results are presented.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK In this first chapter, a review of the literature is offered, and also a framing of relevant concepts
to set clear boundaries for the present thesis. Thus, our theoretical framework is divided into sections: referential and conceptual.
Political Discourse There has been a growing body of research in the broad area of discourse analysis in the
last decades. The study of political discourse follows this same tendency as researchers are addressing problems from different disciplines (Wodak and Menz, 1990; Dorna, 1993; Gutiérrez, 1997; Chilton and Schäffner, 2002, 2004; Bolívar, 2007, 2008). Either by theorizing or by finding practical answers, in truth, all of these authors have made their own contributions to the field and deserve to be mentioned. An interesting work on political discourse is the one carried out by Bolívar (2008) in which she examines the insults in the political dialogue between two Latin-American presidents - Chávez and Fox - in the frame of the IV Summit of the Americas celebrated in 2005. Specifically, Bolívar conducts a qualitative analysis of the way in which those insults were evaluated by those who received them. In other words, the insults are studied in terms of the effect they had on the participants involved in the dialogue. This aspect constitutes a sensible decision made by the author taking into account that intentionality can only be measured through the analysis of how the recipient perceives a specific message (van Dijk, 2007). The relevance of Bolívar’s study is undeniable. In fact, the author clearly establishes the justification from the very beginning of the paper as she asserts that insults “leave traces in the political dialogue and in the democratic relationships in the respective countries” (p. 3) (from here onwards all are my translations), thus presenting them as a worthy object of study due to their sociopolitical impact. This idea is reinforced when she states that “government systems (…) are worn down and likely to become authoritarian governments or dictatorships” (p. 10) as a result of public offensive language use. What she effectively expresses is that insults in the political dialogue can certainly have a negative effect on democracies and healthy international relations; therefore, insults need to be paid closer attention. Bolívar’s work constitutes a systematic but inappropriate inquiry. Conversation analysis is presented as her main theoretical referent to understand and study what she labels as political dialogue. Nonetheless, conversation analysis - the analysis of everyday life interactions (Drew and Heritage, 1992) - cannot be considered as an appropriate tool to study the class struggle in which the political discourses of presidents Chávez and Fox are embedded. It would have certainly been
more appropriate if Bolívar had utilized a political discourse analysis model, or else, adapted a model to the requirements of her investigation. The author claims that the idea is “to take the conversational analysis beyond the description of a particular discourse genre” (p. 5), but obviates the fact that exchanges between the two presidents are marked by completely opposed views on how the sociopolitical systems and the relationships among them should be, thus configuring them as political discourse. Bolívar’s results can be considered to be important for the projection of the field of study they are inserted in. The results obtained show that insults are understood in dissimilar ways: as “aggression in the moral area” in the case of president Chávez and as “aggression to the democratic dialogue” (p. 31) in the case of president Fox. That being said, the conclusion that “insults definitely interrupt the dialogue between nations” (31) deserves to be highlighted, as well. These results give rise to possible further studies by extending the analysis to the dialogue between other political leaders around the globe and examining if their insults contribute to the debilitation of the international democratic relations. Even though this piece of research tends to be quite solid in general terms, a weakness in the discussion of a core concept can be found. Throughout her study, Bolívar uses the term “political” - and its combinations - as exclusively related to the political arena and the people who exercise power - the politicians. It cannot be denied that the researcher succeeds in addressing pertinent concepts such as “insult” from fairly different perspectives from which she adopts the one she considers most appropriate for her study, but definitely fails to review the literature around the concept “political” as no discussion of it is present in her theoretical framework. The terms “political”, “political dialogue” and “political” discourse” are assumed “institutional”, thus representing a limited viewpoint. Therefore, her theoretical framework would have been more complete if she had tackled the concept “political” by discussing the different views found in previous works, such as the distinction made by Chilton and Schäffner (2004) who identify as political actions both the ones executed by the institutional power and those executed by the resistance; or Gutiérrez’s conceptualization (2002) in which she distinguishes between the restrictive (institutional) and the extensive (dissident) forms of political discourse. However, to Bolívar’s credit, her concept of political dialogue applies to the current project without the slightest doubt as politically conscious Rap engages in political dialogue when contesting the hegemonic discourse or making references to it in its texts and images. In this respect, at least a general distinction is made by Salazar (2013) in his critical analysis of the presidential discourse in Chile when he notices the “presence of two discourses (…): an official one and an unofficial one” produced by “oppressor” and “oppressed” (p. 14) respectively. This author focuses his research on the official discourse produced by the head of the nation at that time - president Piñera -, but at the same time recognizes the existence of two sides from which political discourse can emerge: the one he deals with in his study and the one originating from the resistance. However, throughout this endeavor, it is possible to find multiple labels for what Salazar
initially calls “presidential discourse”. In effect, the author mentions the terms “public discourse”, “official discourse”, “political discourse” and “on education discourse”, establishing the relation between only some of them and using the rest as interchangeable concepts. This wide conceptualization can be said to be somewhat vague and the source of misinterpretations, considering that each of these terms may have been previously defined in different ways according to different authors. Even if Salazar’s ideas converge to a specific point and all of them refer to “political discourse”, it would have been better if he had narrowed down the concepts and established their relationships more clearly. Consequently, Salazar’s distinction between official and unofficial discourses is pertinent when compared to Bolívar’s lack of distinction, but it remains to be insufficient if the way he deals with other discourse related concepts is scrutinized. In spite of the problematic conceptualization, Salazar’s work gains immediate relevance when he approaches education, a controversial area which has generated a never-ending debate at all levels in our country. “There exists, in the Chilean school system, a series of difficulties whose participant agents have tried to deal with and solve, with more or less success” (p. 305), asserts the author in his first lines. To be more precise, this study focuses on the predominant ideology that underlies the presidential discourse referred to educational matters; therefore, it delves in an important issue that crosses society and needs to be brought to the surface. Indisputably, ideology in education becomes even more relevant, especially if it is evidenced in official discourses that reach massive audiences and probably have a strong influence on them. Methodologically speaking, Salazar’s inquiry is appropriate. An adaptation of a political discourse model is utilized in order to analyze the corpus. The adapted model includes several communicative resources that are supposed to be employed in the production of political discourse aiming at the achievement of certain goals. These strategies and resources stipulated in the adapted model suit the objectives set for the study in question, thus making it a proper one with respect to aspects of methodological nature. According to Salazar, based on the results he obtained after the analysis of the presidential discourse, a capitalist ideology is revealed when referring to educational matters.
Piñera’s discourse concerning education is, therefore, loaded with a “free market” (p. 14) ideology in which education equals a commodity. Moreover, Salazar’s findings suggest that Piñera’s ideology behind dissension is the “rebels’ punishment” one which means that no expressions for disagreement are accepted. These results can be evaluated as relevant for the projection of political discourse studies and come to increase the number of studies in the area, although the investigation focuses only in official discourse. So far and having revised the pieces of research above, it is possible to conclude in a critical tone that the “official” or “institutional” political discourse has tended to be the main interest among scholars specialized in the area. In this sense, they have restricted research to the “official” or “institutional”, thus neglecting the discourses that emerge from dissident sectors of the population. That is to say, limiting the study of political discourse is limiting the already scarce
opportunities the underprivileged sectors of society have to be heard. This situation testifies the lack of investigative approximations to the unofficial production of political discourse; an arid field in need of more academic concern.
Protest song Various remarkable works on the protest song -which for the Latin American context would
correspond to canto comprometido or nueva canción- can be found. One of them is the book “The story behind the protest song. A reference guide to the 50 songs that changed the 20th century” written by Phull (2008) in the United States. The book consists of entries offering an overview of the most outstanding songs of the century, followed by an account of the artists’ source of inspiration, the legacy left, the sociopolitical context in which the songs were produced, among other features. Phull wittingly covers all the bases and developments of the protest song as he goes back to the 1930’s and carries the analysis until the 1990’s. In the course of the book, the author displays an analysis of the multiplicity of manifestations the protest song has adopted in terms of both the music styles and the themes addressed. Subgenres such us folk, rock, pop, punk, soul, rap, to name a few, have their own space in the umbrella term protest song. These and other subgenres have tackled an infinite number of themes ranging from opposition to the war to animal rights. In Phull’s words, his work covers “antireligion songs by immigrant laborers, antiracism songs by personally troubled jazz vocalists, antipolice songs by enraged rappers, even antiprotest songs by proud southern rock groups and a lot more in between” (p. xii). What Phull probably argues is that, despite the extremely wide variety of the protest song and, independently of what its particular struggle is, all protest song manifestations share a common ground: they criticize, they denounce and they dissent. This core unifying idea does not receive the necessary treatment to be clear enough, though. Apart from being vaguely touched on in the introduction, it is not discussed anywhere else. It would have been better if this important common ground issue had been developed in a deeper, more elaborated discussion to have a complete picture of the phenomenon and its internal relations, as obvious as they may seem. A second aspect that has to be negatively criticized in Phull’s work is the corpus. His collection of songs only covers songs from the United States in English language and the selection criteria lacks precision. Selecting only US songs and then giving the book the title “50 songs that changed the 20th century” conveys a United States centered standpoint and shows a bias against the protest song developed in the rest of the world. The author explains “One of my main aims in the selection of songs was to be as broad as possible with the artists and with the subject matter they addressed (…) 50 is a finite number, so there were many songs that had to be left out for that reason” (p. xxi). Nonetheless, these words say very little about the specific parameters he established to choose the songs. A methodological deficiency is, therefore, easily perceived.
There is no doubt this book is a valuable collection of information concerning the protest song over time and an interesting analysis of several elements that shape that particular genre. Nevertheless, the two weak aspects mentioned above leave something to be desired from the point of view of the development of core unifying ideas and the selection criteria utilized. Now, the protest song has arisen as a way of showing a kind of dissatisfaction, either social, political or religious. which has been palpable around the world as a result of a wide range of circumstances. This point is made clear by Spener (2015) whose investigation encompasses “the history of the song ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’ and the singing of it in different cultural and sociopolitical contexts over the course of two centuries” (p. 55) in three different countries: the US, Spain and Chile. According to Spener’s description, the song is related to labor union and civil rights movements in the US, to the people against Franco in Spain and to Allende’s government supporters in Chile. A cornerstone idea argued in this sociocultural investigation is that of the protest song nueva canción, according to the actual label the author gives it- as a “transcultural capital”. For Spener, this notion refers to the absorption of knowledge and skills in connection with people who belong to other cultures, but expressing the acquired new forms in the culture of origin. From this perspective, the protest song is a cultural artifact capable of crossing frontiers and letting people integrate new cultural information to their previous view of the world. This conceptualization, originally proposed by Triandafyllidou (2009) in a somewhat dissimilar context has been refined by Spener in order to fit the needs of his inquiry, making the theoretical background even worthier. Spener also highlights that the recently studied process of “globalization from below” (Brecher, Smith and Costello, 2000) is, in fact, quite old. Numerous cultural practices and social movements - the protest song being one them as stressed by the author - have revealed the shared thoughts and feelings of certain groups of people against different forms of social injustice, if not, against the system itself, all through the 20th century. As stated by Spener, these practices and movements have been “initiated by participants that are not part of the elites” (p. 66). That is to say, the protest song emerges from regular people who try to materialize their discontent and raise their voice via musical expressions with the final goal of reversing injustice. In contrast to Phull’s unpolished notions of the protest song, Spener places it in a larger context and stands out its sociopolitical impact. The way Spener characterizes the protest song is interesting and thought-provoking. New insights are certainly provided and come to enrich the protest song studies. Besides, the delimitation of the terminology he employs is clearly and accurately done. Going back to Phull, what probably should be emphasized is the diversity of subgenres and themes his work focuses on. However, what both authors have failed to address is that the protest song can be seen as a form of unofficial or uninstitutional political discourse, considering the sociopolitical stand it takes. In summary, the protest song needs to be understood, first of all, as a musical genre, the purpose of which is to convey a message of protest through their lyrics, thus being an artistic
medium seeking social justice. Following this way of understanding the protest song, in its specific distinctive condition, it would be reasonable to assimilate it as resistance political discourse of an unofficial or uninstitutional kind.
Hip Hop Culture and Rap Hip Hop studies have increased in number over the years as a result of a growing academic
interest in marginal expressions and anti-systemic manifestations. A diversity of fields has paid closer attention to Hip Hop Culture as a whole, but at the same time to Rap (songs) and Graffiti (painting), two of its four elements. Hip Hop has been the object of study in fields like sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, critical pedagogies, linguistics and art, especially during the last two decades. Mitchell (2008), in his work “Doin Damage in My Native Language: The Use of ‘Resistance Vernaculars’ in Hip Hop in France, Italy, and Aotearoa/New Zealand”, studies the use of indigenous languages in Rap lyrics along with French, Italian and English which enables rappers to address different linguistic groups. The author refers to this language mixing as a “multilingual dexterity” (p.43) on behalf of the rappers who possess an extraordinary ability to articulate their messages in more than one language. A central idea discussed in this article is that in different parts of the world “indigenous language is used in rap as a form of ‘resistance vernacular’” (p. 49). Rappers, instead of just singing in the dominant languages of the countries in which they live, opt for including their native languages in their lyrical creations. Mitchell stresses that rappers vindicate their native languages and resist dominant ones by means of this singular codemixing. In this sense, the use of those resistance vernaculars comes to configure a resistance discourse characterized by its multilingualism in which dominant languages - and cultures - are no longer considered so. Even though the author does not make this connection, it is relevant to suggest that Rap, as an expression of contestation to the hegemony, should be considered as resistance discourse. According to Mitchell, the use of native languages in Rap lyrics tells us about a glocalization process. By glocalization he means that Rap is experiencing nowadays the interplay between both global and local practices. Simply put, and quoting the author’s precise words “although a worldwide phenomenon (…) [Rap is] still very much concerned with roots, family, locality and neighborhood” (p.44). Consequently, rappers are not simply taking what comes from the African American tradition of Hip Hop, but making their own particular appropriation of such tradition as it applies to their local realities. A final aspect considered in Mitchell’s work is the possibilities of this type of Rap to be heard. The less dominant the language rappers use in their lyrics, the fewer the possibilities they have to reach audiences other than the local one in which they are inserted. This parallels Spivak’s
idea that minorities cannot speak (or be heard) because they do not use the hegemonic discourse (1988, 1992). As Mitchell himself proposes: While the use of these vernaculars can be regarded as constitutive of
strategies to combat the hegemony of the (…) [dominant] language (…) their limited accessibility in both linguistic and marketing terms largely condemns them to a heavily circumscribed local context of reception (p. 52). In other words, indigenous languages (and indigenous discourses at large) have always been a threat to dominant languages (and dominant discourses). The best way to prevent those native languages from eventually spreading and becoming dominant, has been not hearing them under the pretext that they are not produced in the hegemonic language. This seems a conclusive argument. Notwithstanding, spaces for underground Rap distribution have amplified mainly thanks to technology and, therefore, the struggles continues. “Doin Damage in My Native Language: The Use of ‘Resistance Vernaculars’ in Hip Hop in France, Italy, and Aotearoa/New Zealand” is an interesting account of indigenous language use in Rap around the world. To some extent, this article aids in repositioning the status of those languages; languages that have constantly been crushed, in direct benefit of the supremacy of dominant languages. Without a doubt, Mitchell’s work is a noteworthy, impeccable contribution to Hip Hop studies. Nonetheless, other studies have also made their own contributions. In the article titled “Popular Culture as Oppositional Culture: Rap as Resistance” conducted by Martinez (1997), Rap is approached as a contestation to the system. In this attention-grabbing paper, Martinez studies rap which she sees as “a controversial popular cultural form in the African American community” (p. 265) aimed at resisting oppression exercised by the dominant hegemonic culture. Particularly, she analyses the lyrics of Political and Gangsta Rap produced in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s after the second wave of riots in Los Angeles, in the United States. In her work, Martinez writes about “discourses of resistance” (p. 269) when referring to Rap, both Political and Gangsta. At first glance, this label seems wrong as those kinds of Rap have usually been defined as divergent worldviews (Krims, 2000). However, sometimes a point has been made in that there exists an overlap between Political and early Gangsta Rap in terms of their critical commentary on social issues (Lamont, 1999; Quinn, 2005). So, this label Martinez attaches to Rap is not completely mistaken and, in fact, it is coherent with the selection criteria she describes for Gangsta Rap songs: “This study does not attempt to analyze those lyrics which often gain the most publicity with regard to rap music explicitly misogynist or sexist lyrics” (p. 275). Even though the author, in some way, oversimplifies the concept of resistance discourse by including Gangsta Rap in it, at least she discards those songs that address themes that are distant from an oppositional stance. What is not thoroughly explained in Martinez’s paper is the way in which she analyses the lyrics. She begins saying that “A content analysis was not performed on these lyrical data” (p. 276).
Starting a methodological description by uttering what has not been done is already an inappropriate decision. Then, she adds that “The analysis focused on the lyrics themselves with each song emerging thematically” (p. 276). After reviewing the analysis, it is possible to affirm that the author identifies the common themes emerging across the lyrics, which she groups according to the following categories: Distrust of the Police; Fear of a Corrupt System that Plans Genocide; Disillusionment with the Health Care System; Community, Anger at Racism and Lost Opportunities; Action in the Face of Oppression; and A Plea for Recognition. Apart from an extremely brief elaboration on those categories that reflect the main social problems affecting the African American Community, nothing else is provided. In consequence, the sensation that something is pending after reading this article is inevitable. The analyst concludes that “the voices in political and gangsta rap lyrics (…) enter the discourse to ‘destabilize’ dominant hegemonic paradigms” (p. 279). Her conclusions, in effect, seem to be quite transcendent and influential. The problem is that she never refers to political discourse. She writes about “resistance”, “hegemony” and “discourse” all throughout her paper; nonetheless, she fails at making the link between those discourses as forms of political discourse. Of course, the idea is probably there and can be read between lines, but the connection is not sufficiently or explicitly clear. In closing and, despite the fact that Martinez’s work is, in general, an interesting study that adds to the fields of oppositional culture and Hip Hop, it would have been a polished investigation if the author had gone a little beyond the rudimentary analysis she carried out, and if she had identified resistance and hegemonic discourses as political ones. Another piece of research which deserves being reviewed is “Putting Mano to Music: The Mediation of Race in Brazilian Rap” conducted by Pardue (2004) who explores the dynamic processes of mediation of diasporic and identity elements and the relationship between “negritude” and “periferia” in Sao Paulo’s Rap. The assertion that Hip Hop needs to be approached “not simply as a conduit for expression but also as a mode of representation through which performers can potentially change their sense of self and suggest alternative models of social stratification and value” (p. 253) summarizes a central problem Pardue deals with in this paper. What Pardue does is to divide Sao Paulo’s Rap into four historical moments; in other words, four Rap trends regarding negritude which took place in separate periods. A systematic historical analysis of the lyrics is carried out by the author. Moreover, a critical filter in the analysis of the lyrics can be seen throughout this work, thus refuting the general belief that lyrical analysis disengages the affective aspects conveyed by the songs (Kelley, 1997; Schloss, 2000, Forman, 2002). All the procedural and analytical strengths in this piece of research make it a solid one in methodological terms. The results of this investigation are conclusive. Pardue expresses that “the shifting axes of negritude and periferia” act “as influential forces (…) with which participants tell their ‘reality’ stories and sound out their ‘reality’ escapes” (p. 278). To this, he adds that the way periferia is portrayed in
Sao Paulo’s Rap lyrics “reveals that, while discourses of crime and violence are generative, they also reinforce historically grounded and systematically enacted structures of domination” (p. 278). These interesting results may give rise to further inquiries to answer questions concerning Rap’s mediation of the diaspora, the construction of identities or other elements in different Brazilian cities or even in other countries. Going beyond the area Pardue’s investigation is inserted in, a linguistic lyrical analysis could also be relevant for further understandings of certain aspects of Hip Hop Culture and Rap. As stated at the beginning of this section, Hip Hop has been approached from different perspectives and continues to be studied in the present time. In fact, numerous researchers from the four corners of the world are investigating this culture in search for more accurate characterizations. If the Chilean reality is brought into focus, and from among the scarce investigations conducted in the area, a cultural study on Hip Hop that cannot be left out is “Sueños enlatados: El graffiti Hip hop en Santiago de Chile” (Figueroa, 2005), an exhaustive analysis of the graffiti expression present in Chilean streets. Figueroa’s book is, first of all, a thorough examination of youth cultures, the larger frame in which she places Hip Hop and, therefore, graffiti. Specifically, the author goes into detail with respect to the motivations that lie behind youth cultures. Everything can be condensed in the idea of a “dispute between the diversity and the hegemonic rationality of society” (p. 32) (from here onwards all are my translations). According to this, the value of subjectivity and heterogeneity prevails in youth cultures, as they are expressions against a normative hegemonic system in which all individuals are expected to meet pre-established standards of behavior and ways of thinking. The theoretical part of this work not only is a complete examination regarding youth cultures, but a clear informative contextualization of Hip Hop and a precise description of its characteristics. Hip Hop culture must be understood as a “street culture”, as a “detotalizing movement” and as an “urban resignification” (p. 43) as asserted by Figueroa. Moreover, a detailed characterization of graffiti is provided, taking into consideration different points of views suggested by different authors. Thus, the book consists of a strong theoretical background that needs to be appreciated. An important aspect highlighted by the researcher in her book is “The limited specialized literature” and “the ignorance/distortion about the multiple origins of Hip hop” (p. 37). The resulting need to dig into Hip Hop and its four elements is evident. Coherent with this need, Figueroa conducts a far-reaching study on graffiti, including interviews with the artists whose views and thoughts play a vital role for the understanding of this form of anti-hegemonic expression. The results obtained have a lot to say about this last aspect: “Graffiti production turns signs into a means of visual transgression of the established power and hegemony” (186). That is to say, graffiti arises as an artistic resource against the status quo, and shows disagreement with normative practices. Definitely, this inquiry constitutes a great contribution to Hip Hop studies both nationally
and internationally. In particular, it represents a breakthrough in Chilean Hip Hop studies where the lack of investigation is simply overwhelming. Summing up, the attempts to approach Hip Hop Culture, and also Rap and Graffiti as separate elements, mean significant efforts that come to illuminate this field of study. Nonetheless, an everlasting list of aspects still remains unexplored concerning this culture and its four elements, especially when referring to the Chilean context. So far, a few graffiti studies -like Figueroa’s oneare the closest approximations to the Hip Hop movement in our country. Regarding the element of Rap we can mention Asfura (2011), whose investigation deals with the counterhegemony in Chilean Rap lyrics, but, largely, from the point of view of literature and aesthetics.
Subaltern Studies The term “subaltern” has been proposed and developed in the frame of postcolonial studies
and criticism (Fanon, 1963; Said, 1978; Spivak, 1988; Bhabha, 1994). One of the major exponents of the postcolonial school of thought is Homi Bhabha whose works have, in some way or another, challenged different traditional views on how the world is assumed to be configured. A remarkable and quite recent – book in which Bhabha’s most salient ideas are compiled, expanded and refreshed is “Nuevas minorías, nuevos derechos” (2013). The book can be said to be a highly articulated set of conceptualizations and theoretical assumptions revolving around the main postcolonial issues. The first thing to be considered is that Bhabha recognizes the existence of a “global cosmopolitanism (…) that configures the planet as a concentric world of national societies becoming global villages (p. 94) (my translation). But he goes beyond by recognizing the existence of a crucial relationship: “It is a cosmopolitanism of relative prosperity and privileges, founded on ideas of progress in mutual understanding with neoliberal governmental forms and free market competitive forces” (p. 94) (my translation). According to this proposition, globalization and progress are nothing else but a short sighted impression of reality considering, for example, the amount of people who, up to date, live in poverty-stricken conditions, as immigrants without rights and as marginalized groups of any kind. The postcolonial - global and capitalist - way of thinking, as presented by the author, assumes a natural division of the world into two spaces: “center and periphery” (p. 135) (my translation), rigid structures which are replicated in different levels and contexts, for instance, First and Third World. What Bhabha points to is that those categories cannot be regarded as rigid ones and cannot be naturalized; on the contrary, they have to be understood as blurry and dynamic, thus offering the possibility of a third space emerging from which the oppressed or “subalterns” are able to raise their voice against the structural injustice they are subjugated to. Bhabha (re)defines his concept of third space as “a dialogic space – a moment of enunciation, identification and negotiation (…) in the middle of an asymmetrically and unequally
marked field of forces” (p. 81) (my translation). Putting it differently, in a world where individuals are divided in to the categorical center-periphery binary opposition, a third space opens up to allow resistance discourse creation. This space Bhabha talks about is the one in which the subalterns, when they get together, “face the inequalities and the asymmetries of social trauma, not as a ‘same community’ but as people with a same cause” (p. 81) (my translation). Thus, this interstitial, hybrid space plays the role of a platform from which subalterns can speak. A final point to be made is that of power-authority dissociation. From Bhabha’s perspective, “every rights demand is articulated precisely from the third space that is constituted in the moment the differentiation between power and authority is made” (p. 202) (my translation). Therefore, the third space creation is only possible when the disconnection between power and authority is clearly identified. The author’s intention is to show that having the capacity to enforce power does not necessarily depend on having a certain degree of – legitimized, official, institutional- authority. This is what he calls the “deauthorization of power” (p. 201) (my translation). To put it simply, subalterns can enforce power; they do have the chance to produce resistance discourse from their created social third space. Bhabha’s work is definitely an eye-opener due to its incisive enlightening propositions. Contrary to what it could be believed, his conceptualizations are coherent and consistent, especially with respect to the state of today’s world development. His comprehensive point of view, from which not only discourses that have been traditionally considered as official or institutional – the hegemonic discourses - can have their enunciation space, but also those contestation discourses of the dominated, means a great step forward in the struggle against the enrooted center-periphery ideology. Studies on the subaltern confirm the idea that dominated social groups can create their own space for expression against structural injustice, in search of just social conditions for everyone, regardless of their characteristics - origin, color, etc.- and their apparent lack of power. Thus, politically conscious Rap is one of these expressions that emerge from the so-called “third space” and serves as vehicle for protest and dissent.
Critical Discourse Studies Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), earlier referred to as Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), a
line of investigation that had its birth in the 1970’s but gained recognition not until the late 1980’s after Fairclough’s introduction of the term (1989), can be defined as an interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approach to textual study (Fairclough, 2001; van Dijk, 2001). The main objective of this approach is to uncover power relations and ideologies crusted in both written and oral texts, either explicitly or implicitly (van Dijk, 1993) “by analyzing linguistic/semiotic details in
light of the larger social and political contexts in which those texts circulate” (Huckin, Andrus & Clary-Lemons, 2002: 107). That is to say, from a CDS perspective, it is assumed that linguistic features transmit and practice power and ideology (Machine and Mayr: 2012) and, therefore, it is implied that discourses need to be observed through a critical lens. CDS, rather than being concerned with the analysis of linguistic elements in themselves, dig into the way those elements configure power relations and serve ideological goals within discourses. As asserted by Wodak (2006), this line of research “aims to investigate critically social inequality as it is expressed, constituted, and legitimized by language use” (p.53). A similar idea is proposed by van Dijk (1999) when he states that CDS refer to “a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way social power abuse, dominance, and inequality are enacted, reproduced, and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context” (p. 352). This last point made by van Dijk (1999) - that of studying not only how power abuse and inequality are produced and reproduced, but also resisted - no doubt represents a broader conceptualization which needs to be noticed and reinforced. If CDS truly engage in defending social equality, it should be taken for granted that they must focus their attention on both the official institutional discourse production by dominant social groups and the unofficial uninstitutional discourse production by the oppressed – the resistance. Going even further, critical researchers themselves need to be seen as part of that resistance just for the fact that they take a clear political stand when adhering to such an approach to the social study of language. As van Dijk continues his argument, “Critical discourse analysts take explicit position, and thus want to understand, expose, and ultimately resist social inequality.” (p. 352). This means to say that critical investigators, besides analyzing a type of discourse that dissents from the sociopolitical structure imposed, they themselves should be regarded as creators of resistance discourse (Cabezas, 2015). Conversely, CDS, far from being acclaimed, have been sharply criticized over time by those who, of course, do not support their tenets. Widdowson (1995) criticizes that key concepts have been inadequately theorized in critical discourse studies. According to Hammersley’s viewpoint (1997), the need for a critical approach has been assumed by CDS advocates as something easy and uncontroversial. On his behalf, Widdowson (2004) condemns the use of literary criticism tools in discourse analysis considering that these approaches do not have a common ground. Other sources of underestimation have been the de-contextualization of the discourse analyses, the excess of social theory involved and the over-detailed linguistic examinations as identified by Alvarez (2013). The commitment with socio-political problems which are not essentially “facts” and the idea that CDS are loaded with subjective reflections are also part of the most commonly uttered critiques. Certainly, the analysis of language use and discourse requires a critical approach on a par with current social needs and demands. This argument is clearly ratified by Harvey (2015) when she states that:
the interest generated by Discourse Studies, and in particular Critical Discourse Studies in Latin America, is the result of the existence of chronic unsolved situations and problems in our countries, and the result of professors’ and researchers’ commitment with a search for solutions through the analysis of representations, interactions and communications that visibilize unequal and discriminatory situations (p. 347) (my translation). If the final objective is the improvement or change of existing social conditions of inequality, CDS offer an appropriate perspective in which social responsibility plays a key role.
Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies (MCDS) are grounded on the pioneering works of
Kress and van Leeuwen (1996, 2001) and on some earlier ideas rescued from Halliday’s model (1978) in which language was seen as a social semiotic system. Throughout their work, Kress and van Leeuwen have pledged their firm commitment to the systematic description and analysis of other modes to make meaning, apart from language. There exists the need to study the way that various semiotic elements are effectively encoded and communicated, as well as the constraints attached to them (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 1996). As Jewitt directly puts it, “the need to understand the complex ways in which speech and writing interact with ‘non-verbal’ modes can no longer be avoided” (2009: 3). In other words, both verbal and non-verbal elements are capable of communicating ideas that interact and complement each other to produce specific meanings. In this sense, MCDS can be said to be “A rising strand in multimodality” (Moschini, 2014: 198) which adds a critical component to the analyses. Or perhaps, it would be better to say that this newly coined term bridges two separate areas: multimodality and critical discourse analysis (van Leeuwen, 2012; Djonov and Zhao, 2014). These strands have, in fact, a lot in common, probably more than it could be believed. Both of them share the assumption that “human communication is always multimodal” (…) and “social”, and both of them “thrive on disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological diversity” (Djonov and Zhao, 2014: 1). Thus, restating the first idea and providing a more accurate definition - though evident as it may seem - it is possible to assert that MCDS are a rising strand in discourse analysis that merges the separate, but not too distant, fields of multimodal and critical discourse studies. This line of research has been followed and developed by Machin in the last years who gives an account of MCDS in his paper titled “What is multimodal critical discourse studies?” (2013). According to Machin, “texts (…) create meanings not only through language but also through visual features and elements such as images, colour, the layout of pages, even through material objects and architecture” (347). Once again, it is possible to assert that different modes are utilized to complement, reinforce and even produce new meanings within texts and, in a broader context, within discourses. MCDS are, therefore, interested in the way that different types of semiotic
resources play a role in discourse production, and the way in which semiotic choices mediate ideological purposes (Machin, 2013). The premise that discourses are, in some way or another, inevitably multi-semiotic has led to an interesting observation made by Machin and some other experts in the field. This observation deals with the idea of discourses being presented as natural by means of the use of more than one mode. Discourses consisting of several modes “appear as naturalised as part of the hegemonic order” (Machin, 2013: 351). A quite similar proposition is made by Iedema (2003) who affirms that discourses are naturalized and also legitimized when communicated through different meaningmaking modes. In consequence, the very same fact that discourses have a multi-semiotic condition calls on to multimodally and critically investigate them in search for buried ideologies that are being transmitted as commonsensical. The point to be made here is that MCDS can - and should – “be applied to investigate power inequality and ideology in human interactions and artifacts” (Bezemer and Jewitt, 2010: 180181). In MCDS, the reason why semiotic choices are studied is simply because we want to draw out broader discourses, to reveal the ideologies behind them and, if possible, to promote social change. In actual fact, we study semiotic choices and how these are ideologically used to maintain or dismantle the status quo; to inforce power or fight it back; to strengthen specific social roles or to undermine them; to impose identity or to hamper its imposition. In Carter’s words, a diversity of graphic elements, toys and even music “are used by social actors to construct and contest dominant social meanings” (2011: 62). As she continues with her argument, Carter refers to MCDS as a “valuable theoretical and methodological tool to (…) better understand how language and other types of semiotic signs are used together to construct, express, and challenge social power” (p.62). These ideas are particularly important for the current study, as semiotic choices are used not only by ruling groups and their institutions to meet specific ideological goals, but also by underprivileged social groups who resist the hegemony. Consistent with this position, the present study adopts a multimodal critical approach and tries to vindicate MCDS as a valid theoretical and methodological approach in the name of social justice.
Discourse Discourse is one of those concepts with countless definitions but which none of them
seems to be fully satisfactory, neither inside nor outside its field of study. This is the reason why even up to now in every single book or paper concerning discourse analysis an attempt to properly define it can be identified. Baker and Ellece summarize this idea by stating that discourse is “a term with several related and often quite loose meanings” (2011:30). In view of that, different definitions will be taken, contrasted and/or amalgamated here to try to come to a more agreed upon conceptualization for the purpose of this study.
One of the many ways discourse has been defined is as “language above the sentence or the clause” (Stubbs, 1983:1). A similar idea is the one that “discourse operates above the level of grammar and semantics” (Machin and Mayr, 2012: 20). These types of formulations are far from being precise and clear; on the contrary, they have tended to be uncertain and confusing, according to Widdowson (2004). What needs to be clarified is that discourses have both internal and external relationships, so the concept of discourse refers not merely to the internal elements and relations of a given text, but also to the different social elements surrounding the text and the external relations that text establishes. Following Simpson and Mayr, discourse is “language forms played out in different social, political and cultural arenas” (2010: 5). Therefore, this external dimension of discourse leads, no doubt, to implications beyond the purely linguistic. In fact, discourses do not exist in isolation; they are given birth in a context which is crucial for their existence (Wodak, 2000c); they are created by someone as a result of some specific motivations, with some specific intentions, for some specific audience and within some specific sociopolitical context. This is what Brown and Yule probably tried to mean when they initially thought of discourse as “language in use” (1983: 27) or, even better, “language in real contexts of use” as proposed by Machin and Mayr (2012: 20). To ratify this idea, though, it seems necessary to rely on van Dijk (1998) who defines discourse as a “communicative event” in which social actors are involved and which takes places in a specific context of “time, place and circumstances” (p. 194). A more specific conceptualization is the one provided by van Leeuwen and Wodak (1999) who suggest that discourses should be seen as consisting of types of participants, behaviors, goals, values and locations. Therefore, discourse is not discourse in itself, but discourse as long as it is produced within a larger sociopolitical and cultural frame by subjects who inevitable hold ideologies, have objectives, and so on and so forth.
Intertextuality In very simple words, the term intertextuality refers to the relation of a text with other texts
(Superceanu, 2011). However basic these words may seem, the truth is that they grasp the concept without resorting to a dense flowery definition. For obvious reasons, other expanded definitions and interpretations also need to be included here to properly address and delimit the concept, even though Superceanu offers a worthy starting point. The premise that texts are inherently intertextual (Fairclough, 1992, 1993) becomes fundamentally necessary to approach the concept. By inherently intertextual is meant that all texts “have traces of other texts” (Widdowson, 2004:148) or carry elements of other previously produced texts. Moloi goes even further by stating that every single text is the “articulation of multiple texts and voices” (2014: 417), in other words, intertextually created, either in form, content and/or stance. For Zheng and Cheng (2012), all texts are constructed as citations mosaics -though citations are not always literal or explicit as the regular untrained receptor might expect. To explain this mosaic
conceptualization, the authors interestingly add that “every text is an absorption and transformation of other texts” (p. 1271), thus clarifying that intertextuality is not necessarily the incorporation of direct quotations; sometimes it involves a more complex process in which a text makes references to others or echoes others in diffuser ways (de Beaugrande, 2004). Intertextuality, as proposed by de Beaugrande and Dressler in their seminal book “Introduction to Text Linguistics” (1981), “subsumes the ways in which the production and reception of a text depends upon the participants’ knowledge of other texts” (p. 182). According to their proposition, creating a text requires prior information contained in other texts, immediately generating a network of textual relations. Likewise, receiving a text also requires some kind of familiarity with other texts in order to fully understand it (Baker and Ellece, 2011). The lack of such familiarity may, in turn, obscure understanding. In sum, what breaks down from de Beaugrande and Dressler’s idea is nothing else but the assumed notion that texts have an intrinsic intertextual condition. Hitherto, authors have conceived of intertextuality as a property only related to the linguistic text or verbal mode. This is patent in Fairclough’s assertion: “intertextual properties of a text are realized in its linguistic features” (1995: 189). However, the concept of intertextuality, as originally proposed by de Beaugrande and Dressler - and followed for decades by many other linguists seems no longer sufficient, considering the fact that, in the last years, we have entered a new realm of critical discourse analysis where various non-linguistic modes have started to be considered as producers of meanings and, thus, potential objects of study. Needless to say, all of those modes have to be approached the best way possible. This has resulted in the need to find suitable ways to addressing them, by redefining old concepts or creating new ones, by adapting previous models or designing innovative ones based on current requirements and fresher ideas. In the case of intertextuality, the concept should at least be expanded to the visual mode to address the way images enter in a dialogue with other texts, either visual or verbal.
Political Discourse, hegemony and resistance Political Discourse has been conceptualized as the type of discourse produced from the
political arena by those who are directly inserted in it, that is to say, by the politicians, their groups and institutions (Dorna, 1993; Puntaje & Morales, 1996; van Dijk, 2005; Bolívar, 2007). In consequence, political discourse has primarily been related to official speeches and debates, but also to other activities like treaties, election campaigns or summits in which politicians are the exclusive participants. Generally speaking, activity from the hegemonic world is supposed to be deserving of such a label according to this traditional view. However, political discourse cannot be regarded as the official institutional discourse generated from the hegemony per se. Certainly, political discourse can take other forms and be the product of other social actors who are not in power (Verba, et al., 1993; van Dijk, 2009). Activists,
pressure groups, dissidents (van Dijk and Mendizábal, 1999) and sociocultural movements can also engage in political discourse by means of numerous manifestations - verbal or not - like marches, banners, chanted demands, speeches, pamphlets, sit-ins, demonstrations and music (the protest song being the most prominent concerning the last item in this list), to name a few; and by means of several channels of communication where the so called social networks have played a central role in terms of distribution. In consequence, little room for doubt is left and the concept needs to be widened: the discourse produced by these social actors, the resistance, is worthy of being labelled as political discourse as well. Accordingly, we need to look at political discourse as an area of persistent tension where the hegemonic discourse - produced by dominant social sectors – and the resistance discourse produced by underprivileged social groups - challenge each other. This idea has been correctly introduced by Chilton and Schäffner (2002), according to whom, political discourse consists of “a struggle for power, between those who seek to assert and maintain their power and those who seek to resist it” (p. 5). Putting it differently, the genre of political discourse - or class of genres as van Dijk proposes (1998b) - represents a battle between these polarized sectors of society: a dominant segment investing efforts into maintaining a position of power and control through their hegemonic discourse, on the one hand; and a resistant sector trying to destabilize the status quo and empower themselves through their resistance discourse. It is a fact that political discourse has to do with power related issues (van Dijk 1993), for instance, domination, imposition and dispute over power. Nonetheless, ideology can be said to be its other core element. “Probably more than any other kind of discourse, political discourse is eminently ideological”, as formulated by van Dijk (2002: 1). It is thus assumed that ideologies, as well as power relations, are inevitably crusted in political discourses, though the task of identifying such ideologies is not always easy because they are presented as natural or common sense, especially in the case of the hegemonic discourse. A final point to be made is that both power and ideology are produced and reproduced in political discourse in different strategic ways (Chilton, 1997; Chilton and Schäffner, 2004). In this fashion, promise, threat and manipulation are some of the most recurrent strategies utilized in the construction of a discourse aiming at the legitimization conquest (Meyenberg and Lugo, 2011). This is translated into the idea that language use is not always transparent; quite the opposite, opaque social injustice can perfectly be conveyed and legitimized through discourse (Wodak, 2006) as a result of a resourceful application of the strategies previously mentioned.
Hegemonic discourse It is a fact that the hegemonic discourse -official and institutional, produced by dominant
segments of society- can be defined in various ways, according to different dimensions. However, for the purposes of this study, we hold that some of the most outstanding characteristics that
configure the hegemonic discourse are the anti-immigration ideas and the institutional violence validation. Anti-immigration ideas, clung to racism and xenophobia, are constituting part of the hegemony, its institutions and organizations in a silent, almost invisible way that guarantees “the concealed functioning of discrimination” (Wieviorka, 2009:39) (my own translation). All arbitrary constructs, from nations and borders to the term illegal immigrant help to create an anti-immigration dominant discourse that permeates the entire society (CrimethInc, 2011). But immigration is never totally rejected. It may be welcomed sometimes, as long as it aids profit making at low costs (van Dijk, 2005) which, in turn, is translated into giving immigrants miserable working and living conditions -a form of institutional violence. Anew, we highlight the fact that the hegemonic discourse constitutes an anti-immigration discourse that operates, as a general rule, stealthily and which imbues society to a great extent. The other salient feature that identifies the hegemonic discourse is its validation of the institutional violence. As “capitalism is backed up by violence” (Martin, 2013: 258) -through police and military powers, but also through other subtler violent forms, namely, unemployment, poverty, exploitation, discrimination, deficient health and educational systems, etc.- the need of discursively validating such violence becomes imperative. In other words, the functioning of the system is protected by the institutional violence and the official discourse that legitimizes it. In this regard, Chomsky maintains that the existing institutions “naturally never cease to construct the perceived world in the form that suits their needs” (Chomsky, 2004: 362), even if that entails institutionalizing violence and discursively justifying it so that the present state of affairs is preserved. This anti-immigration, pro-concealed institutional violence dominant discourse is, of course, not easy to combat. A basic reason explains it clearly: it is produced in the highest political and economic layers which are dense enough to be pierced, and which normally steep the rest of the social layers. In fact, hegemonic discourses are “liable to be naturalized” (Fairclough, 1989: 105), meaning, for instance, that these anti-immigration ideas and the justifications for the institutional violence are likely to be internalized by regular citizens as commonsensical and inoffensive, when they are not. After all, this is the game: “hegemony is (…) maintained through the manufacture of consent” (Baker and Ellece, 2011: 55), making individuals recognize hegemonic practices as legitimate (van Dijk, 1997), and such consent is fundamentally achieved through discourse. As it is possible to observe, the hegemonic discourse is part of a thoroughly articulated system, and thus contesting it is far from being a simple task.
Subaltern Subaltern, an already controversial term, and “one of the most slippery and difficult to
define” (Louai, 2012: 5), implies addressing at least two main aspects when trying to delimit it. On the one hand, who the subaltern is - and who is not - has been one of the most debated questions
in postcolonial studies. Great discussion has also been generated around the definition of the subaltern as either a voiceless subject or a speaking person, on the other. These two aspects are, therefore, central to the conceptualization of the term and need to be considered in any section dedicated to the subaltern characterization. The first aspect, who the subaltern is, is far from being a settled issue. When Gramsci (1971) referred to the term subaltern, he basically referred to an inferior rank subject under the hegemony of the elite. Guha (1981), in an attempt to refine this characterization, advises that the concept refers to a socially subordinated individual “whether this is expressed in terms of class, caste, age, gender and office or in any other way” (35). What these authors have tried to say is that the subaltern is anyone other than the ruling class, anyone outside the hegemonic circle; thus the concept has been used following the logic of the “other” in which the subaltern’s existence is possible provided that there is a ruling class exercising power, or else, as clarified by Bhabha (1986), both sides need each other to exist and be defined. However, after Spivak’s publication of her influential essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1988), all of these ideas come to be toughly criticized. Spivak disapproves of the way in which the subaltern has been described. She disagrees with Gramsci’s homogeneous definition of the subaltern, and differs from Guha’s categorization criteria by labelling it as essentialist. So, who’s the subaltern according to Spivak? everybody thinks the subaltern is just a classy word for oppressed, for Other, for somebody who's not getting a piece of the pie (…) just by being in a discriminated against minority, they don't need the word subaltern (…) they're within the hegemonic discourse wanting a piece of the pie and not being allowed (1992: 4546). What Spivak’s provocative words propose is that discrimination does not equal subalternity. The real subaltern is specifically characterized for not having access to the hegemonic discourse. This deprivation is translated into not having a voice and not being able to speak, voiceless, the main feature required to qualify as a subaltern. Even though we do not share Spivak’s subaltern definition as a mute individual, we do share the idea that not all oppressed people should be regarded as subalterns. Following Macedo, Dendrinos and Gounari (2003) who state that three lines of oppression are the deepest: race, gender and class, it is possible to affirm that the latter is the one truly defining a subaltern. A clear exemplification and justification of this audacious statement would be the case of an individual who belongs to a minority, either because of race or gender, but at the same time belongs to a dominant social group. Such an individual, as part of a dominant social segment, has “privileged access to social resources such as education, knowledge and wealth” (Machin and Mayr, 2012: 24) which immediately provides them with a powerful position and, consequently, such an individual would not qualify as subaltern. In sum, race and gender - maybe other features too - are optional or additional descriptors of the subaltern, but class is plainly obligatory.
The second aspect to be considered in the definition of the concept is whether the subaltern can or can’t speak. As Moore-Gilbert asserts, “Spivak’s principal concern is the degree to which the (post)colonial subaltern (…) enjoys agency (…) or whether they are condemned only to be known, represented, and spoken for in a distorted fashion by others” (2000: 452). As already mentioned above, the subaltern is a silent subject for Spivak (1988, 1992) due to their denied access to the hegemonic discourse - only official medium through which to communicate. Therefore, there is categorically “no space” (Spivak, 1988: 103) for the subaltern to speak and their only option is to be visualized by the academy. Opposing views have also appeared all along the development of the term. Bhabha, in his article titled “The Location of Culture” (1994) affirms that the subaltern is indeed a speaking subject as a hybrid or “third space” (p. 37) of enunciation opens up. This speaking subaltern is autonomous and capable; they do not need others to represent them; they do not need to make use of the hegemonic discourse to be able to express themselves and subvert authority. So, the question here seems to be “Can the subaltern be heard?” (Maggio, 2007: 421) rather than the question Spivak originally asked. Inevitably, Bhabha’s ideas have been both acclaimed and commented upon. The term hybridity has been considered as fundamental in postcolonial studies and is “celebrated and privileged as a kind of superior cultural intelligence owing to the advantage of in-betweeness, the straddling of two cultures and the consequent ability to negotiate the difference” (Hoogvelt 1997: 158). The very same concept has been treated as “extremely problematic (…) because Bhabha provides no empirical evidence of how effective such kinds of agency actually were in resisting colonialism” (Moore-Gilbert, 2000: 459). For the purposes of this study, we adhere to Bhabha’s heartening conceptualization of the subaltern as a speaking individual.
Historical memory A preliminary idea regarding the - not so new but recently spread - term historical memory
is that it refers to a sociocultural phenomenon (Ruiz, 2007). This phenomenon has been understood as “a memory shared by a collective” (Fontana, 2001: 353) (my translation) which, as this definition expresses it, is not just an in-common-memory but rather a shared-memory. A shared-memory differs from an in-common-memory in that the former one integrates the perspectives of the individual memories about a particular experience or event instead of simply summing them up, as differentiated by Margalit (2002). In other words, the historical memory encompasses the assimilation of individual memories which are similar but subjectively nuanced considering the subjective nature of human beings. Every social group has its own historical memory: a meaningful shared-memory passed through the generations which identifies the group and gives its members a sense of belonging (Yeste, 2008). First, this means that even those who did not directly experience the past events the case of youngsters - are able to share the memories of the group they belong to, for the basic
reason that they have inherited such historical memory (Margalit, 2002), not so much as a fixed memory but as one that allows mediation, shaping and reshaping over time. A second remark to be made is that the historical memory helps maintain the cohesion within a given group; re-affirms their thoughts, beliefs and feelings about the past; and legitimizes their sociopolitical and cultural position. Nevertheless, historical memory should not only be regarded as the connection a group has with the past, but at the same time as the mechanism which provides the group a degree of awareness about such past events (Lowenthal, 1998). Put it another way, the historical memory is determinant of the consciousness about what the group has lived, how they have seen the world, how they have faced and/or solved problems, etc. This state of awareness about the past is the basis for the understanding of the present, and also for the future projection as a collective (Yeste, 2008). As a result, the historical memory, a consciousness device for the past, inevitably draws a line throughout time that is extended to the present and projected towards the future. Unfortunately, the concept of historical memory entails some negative aspects mainly related to repression and imposition. As a matter of fact, the historical memory of certain groups, generally minorities or dissident sectors of the population, has been untiringly repressed in societies with strong institutional dogmas (Margalit, 2002). The imposition of a unique historical memory, the one that is constructed and reconstructed by those in power, has permeated different areas and levels - discourse included. Notwithstanding, subalterns’ historical memory cannot be erased by the imposition of a hegemonic memory, as wittily presented by Foucault (2003), “The postulate that the history of great men contains, a fortiori, the history of lesser men, or that the history of the strong is also the history of the weak, is replaced by a principle of heterogeneity: The history of some is not the history of others” (69). In this sense, and in pursuit of a just society, it is almost mandatory to make a point in the need of accepting and respecting plural historical memories (von Thadden, 2002), as well as showing explicit disagreement with the tyrant act of reducing them to a single official institutional memory.
Research Questions The research questions from which this investigation arose and from which our hypothesis
was formulated can be stated as follows: How does Rap duo Rebel Diaz construct their resistance political discourse? Is subalterns’ historical memory recovered in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s resistance political discourse? How is subalterns’ historical memory recovered in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s resistance political discourse? Does the subalterns’ historical memory recovering aid the construction of a counterhegemonic discourse?
Hypothesis Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s resistance political discourse challenges the hegemonic discourse by
recovering subalterns’ historical memory which can be detected through the analysis of the semiotic choices introduced in their linguistic and visual texts.
General objective Demonstrate a few of the ways in which subalterns’ historical memory is recovered in Rap
duo Rebel Diaz’s resistance political discourse by focusing attention on the semiotic choices introduced in their linguistic and visual texts, creating a counter-hegemonic discourse.
Specific objectives Critically examine the linguistic choices made in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s texts. Critically relate the linguistic choices made in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s texts to the political
discourse strategic functions. Critically examine the visual choices made in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s images. Discuss the intersemiotic relations produced between Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s linguistic and visual choices. Discuss how the semiotic choices introduced in Rap duo Rebel Diaz’s linguistic and visual texts contribute to the subalterns’ historical memory recovering, creating a counter-hegemonic discourse.
Type of research study This research study can be placed within the qualitative paradigm, a mode of inquiry which
is fundamentally interpretive as it aims not only at describing and analyzing, but also at understanding and interpreting the data from a holistic point of view (Bogdan & Taylor, 1975; Patton, 1980). In concordance to these characteristics, the present study adheres to the qualitative approach in the descriptive, explanatory and interpretive levels of analysis.
Methodology Given the fact that Rebel Diaz’s discourse has a multi-semiotic nature, the study of it
required a multimodal approach to attend to the different meaning-making modes that compose it. Moreover, considering that Rebel Diaz’s discourse is a resistance political one, a critical perspective for the analysis seemed to be appropriate and helped achieve our objectives. Then, Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis appeared to be the best option to analyze and interpret Rebel Diaz’s discourse. The corpus for the analysis was, therefore, the linguistic text (lyrics) and the visual text (images). This corpus allowed us to conduct an examination in two different levels of signification which shape the discourse through complementary meaning-making processes. Certainly, linguistic features convey meaning potentials, but other elements also contribute to the communication of specific ideas when it comes to music (Machin and Richardson, 2012). Accordingly, the discourse conveyed through linguistic and visual choices was subjected to our multimodal critical analysis. For the linguistic examination, Chilton and Schäffner’s “Political Discourse Model of Analysis” (2004) was applied, whereas for the visual part of the study, an adaptation of Pennycook’s “Intertextual Relations” contained in his “Ways into Texts” unpublished model (2009) was utilized, together with a series of visual concepts.
Political Discourse Model of Analysis The Political Discourse Model of Analysis proposed by Chilton and Schäffner (2004) was
used to examine the linguistic elements in three levels: a) pragmatic b) semantic, and c) syntactic, in their relation to the four political discourse strategic functions: a) coercion, b) dissimulation, c) legitimization - delegitimization, and d) resistance, opposition and protest. A description of the different levels and functions contained in this model of analysis is presented in the next subsections.
184.108.40.206.1 Pragmatic The pragmatic level involves the analysis of the speech acts originally stablished by Searle (1969): assertives, directives, commisives, expressives and declaratives. Language and action are then seen as connected entities (Chilton and Schäffner, 2002), considering that speech acts can be defined as statements which represent or even embody actions by themselves. This linguistic level also involves the analysis of personal pronouns such as I, you, we, they, etc. and their variants, all of them playing an important role in the demarcation of social roles and relationships that are inherent to the language-action dichotomy.
220.127.116.11.2 Semantic The semantic level scrutinizes word meaning and the relation of words in particular contexts. The notion of lexical-semantic field gains relevance in this level of analysis as it refers to words related to a common element or area which have been previously stored in cognition in that specific way (Rumelhart, 1980). Understanding lexical-semantic fields requires the understanding of language construction as a community-based action that reflects human experiences of multiple kinds. Therefore, a given lexical-semantic field may depict socio-cultural aspects as the former is deeply enrooted in the latter.
18.104.22.168.3 Syntactic The last linguistic level, the syntactic one, is related to sentence organization in terms of thematic roles and topicalization. Thematic roles are connected to various elements within a sentence, for instance, who does what, to whom, where, why and how. As with topicalization, this refers to the introduction of new information in a particular sentence, but also to the place this new information is inserted. Verbs expressing dynamism and temporality -transitive and intransitive uses- are forms of topicalization, whereas the use of nouns that produce a sensation of immobility and atemporality are forms of nominalization.
Political discourse strategic functions According to Chilton and Schäffner’s analytical framework (2004), the strategic functions
utilized in political discourse production / analysis can be divided into four different categories that will be described and discussed here.
22.214.171.124.1 Coercion The strategic function of coercion is related to control practices exercised through several linguistic actions. More precisely, it deals with speech acts that involve orders and sanctions as well as other practices such as censorship and information access restriction. Imposition within discourses, either in terms of themes, roles, identity or any other type of imposition are also considered to be at the service of this coercive strategic function.
126.96.36.199.2 Dissimulation Similarly, dissimulation is a function that has to do with the control of information delivered through discourses. However, the final goal to be achieved by means of this strategic function is not to impose or censor, but to filter the information both regarding its quality and quantity, so the audience is provided only what is convenient for the producer of the discourse. Some of the ways through which this is done are the omission of information, the use of euphemism or, simply, the lie.
188.8.131.52.3 Legitimization – delegitimization The function of legitimization – delegitimization has two clear objectives or, put another way, it tries to create two specific effects that always occur together. On the one hand, legitimization strives for the strengthening of a social position of power and for the reinforcement of the discourse producer’s credibility. On the other hand, delegitimization means the intention of negatively introducing others through specific speech acts like accusations, blames and insults.
184.108.40.206.4 Resistance, opposition and protest Resistance, opposition and protest is a function used by those who are in conflict with the institutions and entities in charge of enforcing power, that is to say, those who are constantly trying to disarticulate the status quo. Agreeing with Chilton and Schäffner (2004), the three strategic functions previously described - coercion, dissimulation and legitimization-delegitimization - may, of course, be employed by the opponents in order to counterattack the ones in power. What needs to be stressed is the fact that this strategic function is strictly related to the resistance political discourse, the manifestations of which can be as multiple as the marginal expressions of dissent found in society.
Intertextual Relations An adaptation of the “Intertextual Relations”, a set of questions that constitutes part of
Pennycook’s “Ways into Texts” unpublished model for critical text analysis (2009) was applied in order to systematically approach the visual features in Rebel Diaz’s discourse. Putting it in a different way, the visual text was confronted by asking it the following questions in Figure 1 and, thus, configuring this part of the analysis into one of the content type.
Intertextual Relations Texts exist relative to other texts
How does the text relate to other texts? What other texts does it overtly refer to? Are there covert references or echoes of other texts? Whose voices (quotes, references) appear in the text? What roles are given to different voices? Does the text appear to enter into a dialogue with other assumed texts?
Fig. 1. Intertextual Relations
It is important to highlight that these questions - and the entire model for critical text analysis they belong to – have been originally proposed by Pennycook to approach the verbal mode. Yet, this adapted part of the model was applied here to address the visual text. The notion of Intertextuality, as proposed in our Conceptual Framework section, needs to be expanded to fulfill the requirements of a multimodal domain and the multimodal corpora investigators are working with nowadays.
Visual concepts Together with Pennycook’s “Intertextual Relations”, a series of concepts was utilized to
approach the visual mode. These concepts deal exclusively with the visual aspects, rather than with the intertextuality of the text. In particular, we followed general guidelines provided by Farías and Orrego (2013), Callow (2016) and Royce (2007) to describe what was present in the frames taken from Rebel Diaz’s videos. Here, we start with the concept of frame -our visual unit of analysisconsidering it basic for the understanding of the subsequent metalanguage involved.
Frame A frame needs to be understood as “a salient or representative still of a shot” (Paltridge,
2012: 177). In other words, as a static part taken from a sequence that compose a longer moving visual text such as a movie or video clip.
Foreground In a frame or picture, “the foreground is the immediate area that it is in front of your eyes”
(Farías and Orrego, 2013: 19). According to this description, the elements placed in the foreground are the ones that are immediately detected by who observes the frame.
Background In a frame or picture, “the background is the area at the rear end” of it (Farías and Orrego,
2013: 19). This means that elements placed at the background are not immediately perceived by who observes the frame, yet they may also be important meaning creators.
Center Describing the concept of center might seem quite obvious. In spite of that, it is possible to
say that it refers to the middle or central space of a visual text and, thus, elements can be placed at the center or grouped around it. The important point here is that central placement involves highlighting the elements in a frame or picture (Royce, 2007).
Color Color conveys specific meanings within frames or pictures. According to Callow (2016),
color creates certain moods and reactions, for example, positive feelings are usually represented though warm colors, whereas negative ones are expressed by muted colors. Another relevant point is that some colors are symbolic to specific cultures, that is to say, colors can have “cultural symbolic meanings” (p.9), for instance, black for death and mourning, blue for sadness, etc.
Corpus The corpus of analysis of this investigation consisted of 4 official videos displayed on Rebel
Diaz’s YouTube channel and the lyrics in them, belonging to their two most recent and popular discographic productions (Occupy the Airwaves, 2011 / Radical Dilemma, 2013), in which brothers Rodstarz and G1 - current members of the group - perform. These 4 videos share the common characteristic that they have bilingual lyrics, so both English and Spanish languages are used by the rappers. As part of a raw analysis carried out, it was possible to observe that the lyrics in the video “La Patrulla” are only in Spanish and that the video “Gain the world” tackles issues that cannot be exactly considered as resistance political discourse. As a result, these two videos were left out from the corpus of analysis. Some basic information regarding the 4 videos selected for this inquiry, such as their names, the albums they belong to and their corresponding links to Rebel Diaz’s YouTube channel is provided below in Figure 2.
Album: Occupy the Airwaves (2011) Video 1: “I’m an alien” [3’43’’] Video 2: “Craazy” [3’55’’]
Album: Radical Dilemma (2013) Video 3: “Revolution has come” [4’12’’] Video 4: “American spring” [3’59’’]
Fig. 2. Rebel Diaz’s videos
From the corpus already delimited, the units of analysis were of two kinds: propositions for the linguistic text (lyrics) examination, whereas frames for the visual text (images) analysis. Our interest in politically conscious Rap duo Rebel Diaz has to do with, first of all, the lack of studies concerning Rap as resistance political discourse within the academia, especially in the Chilean context. Rebel Diaz, an underground duo that is out of the mainstream music circuits, qualifies as this type of political discourse, thus being an interesting object of study. More specifically, Rebel Diaz’s connection with Chile is relevant. Brothers Rodstarz and G1, children of Chilean activists, were born in England and raised in the United States; however, they are deeply connected to their parents’ country of origin in historical and sociopolitical terms, but also to Latin America in general. This strong relation is explicitly expressed in their songs and videos, both in content and in the bilingual articulation of English and Spanish they make.
Procedures First of all, it is necessary to highlight once again that the data collection was possible
thanks to the availability of the music videos on the Internet, precisely, on Rebel Diaz’s YouTube channel. The methodological route of this study involved the following procedures. First, once the corpus of analysis was collected, the linguistic texts (lyrics) were transcribed. Second, the transcribed linguistic texts were segmented into propositions, being these propositions our first units of analysis. Third, the linguistic texts were explored to find passages (a set of propositions) recovering the subalterns’ historical memory. Forth, a passage from each linguistic text was selected. Fifth, the examination of the linguistic texts in the three linguistic levels –a) pragmatic, b) semantic and c) syntactic - was carried out. Sixth, the choices made in the three linguistic levels were related to the four political discourse strategic functions - a) coercion, b) dissimulation, b) legitimization-delegitimization, d) resistance, opposition and protest. Seventh, the dynamic visual texts (videos) were explored to find frames containing intertextual characteristics; these frames constituted our second units of analysis. Eighth, the frames were analyzed by describing the elements present in them and by asking them the intertextual-oriented questions. Ninth, the
intersemiotic relationships between the linguistic and visual choices were discussed. Finally, a critical interpretation of the results was offered, to confirm the hypothesis of this study.
ANALYSIS In this chapter the data analysis is carried out. For each text both the linguistic and visual
elements are analyzed according to the models presented in the methodological framework.
“I’m an alien”
220.127.116.11 Passage  yo, I’m an alien from planet Chile  above all every galaxy  that would be the illest  you came in my country  you brought the dictator  gave him money  and so then paid me later  the students, the farmers workin’ together  pa lante inmigrante  mundo Mapuche siempre forever  ilegal, I’m not  a human being out of FIS so, I what?  if I can’t eat, I’mma move til I find my piece of the pie  yo dignify life  out of this world, outcasted, held captive  a second class studies  the factories close  they lose job, their home  wall street broke  so they blame scape goat  if they ask me for my papers, I’mma laugh and say  I’m an alien  I’m a legal alien
18.104.22.168.1.1 Assertives The passage taken from “I’m an alien” contains different speech acts, being the assertives the most recurring ones. Propositions , , , , , , , , , , , ,  and  represent speech acts of the assertive type which correspond to truth claims made by the discourse producers -the rappers. In proposition  the verbal conjugation am shows that the producer openly recognizes and introduces himself as a Chilean immigrant. Propositions  and  state the importance Chile has for the producer, proudly exalting his origin when he utters above all and the illest. In , through the verbal conjugation workin’, the constant struggle the subalterns are involved in is stated, emphasizing their shared efforts against social injustice with the word together. In , Mapuche, an indigenous group from the south of Chile whose struggle has constantly been criminalized by the government and media is vindicated through the bilingual phrase siempre forever, in which siempre and forever mean the same, and thus emphasize the central idea. Proposition  negates any possibility for the producer to be considered as an illegal immigrant in the verbal conjugation ’m not. This claim is also delved into in the visual features (See Fig. 6 in section 22.214.171.124.) Similarly,  stresses the fact that human beings remain to be human beings even if they do not have a Family Income Supplement (FIS), and this can be appreciated in the phrases out of and so, I what?. Propositions , , ,  and  state the social injustice the subalterns have been forced to go through. In  the phrase out of and the words outcasted and captive immediately mark the underprivileged conditions the subalterns have been and continue to be subdued to; something that is also worked and emphasized in the visual mode (See Fig. 4 in section 126.96.36.199.). In  the phrase second class assures the discrimination subalterns have to face as they are considered as inferior human beings; as people of lower rank. Propositions ,  and  reinforce the previous ideas by means of the verbs close, loose and broke, signaling the left-aside situation the subalterns are exposed to in the frame of a violent capitalist system. In  and  it is possible to note that the discourse producer identifies himself as an alien or immigrant through the verbal conjugation ’m. However, and defying the hegemonic vision, he establishes that he is a legal one; one with rights like any other regular citizen. These truth claims are related to the legitimization-delegitimization political discourse strategic function as they allow, on the one hand, Rebel Diaz to restate the immigrants’ position as human beings with rights; and, on the other, to expose and discredit the anti-immigration ideas that characterize the hegemonic discourse. In other words, the subalterns, their origins and their past and present struggles are legitimized, whereas the oppressive and discriminatory systemic practices/discourse are, in consequence, delegitimized.
Apart from the assertives, though not comparable in number, other speech acts can also be found in the fragment taken from “I’m an alien”. This is the case of expressive, directive and commisive speech acts.
188.8.131.52.1.2 Expressives Expressive speech acts, exemplified by , , ,  and , correspond to guilt accusations against the system and the powerful, as they are the exclusive responsible of the social problems and the discrimination affecting the subalterns. Propositions , ,  and  tell about a dreadful period in Chilean history -the dictatorship. In this sense, the verbal conjugations came in , brought in , gave in  and paid in  narrate the way events took place, by accusing the dictatorship to be an orchestrated set of actions. Moreover,  and  refer to a responsible entity behind the civil-military coup in Chile, probably embodied by the “Yankees” or the United States government. In , through the verbal conjugation blame it is possible to realize that the accused are always avoiding their responsibilities and, therefore, Rebel Diaz hold them responsible for the problems mentioned in previous propositions , , ,  and . Blaming someone is, no doubt, a way of undermining their position -and validating one’s own all together. That is why all these expressive speech acts are strongly linked to the legitimization-delegitimization strategic function. This function is, once again, oriented to validate the resistance discourse produced by the rappers -and the subalterns in general; but also to undercover and diminish the institutional official discourse.
184.108.40.206.1.3 Commisives Commisive speech acts,  and , can be understood as warnings or, plainly and simply, as threats directed to the system and its rulers. In , ’mma move and til configure a threat in the sense that the discourse producer expresses his determination to get what he believes he deserves, and no one is going to prevent him from getting it. In , ‘mma laugh and say also reflect the will power the producer desires to show by challenging the police -those who could eventually ask him for his papers. That is to say, these threats mean that, under certain conditions, the producer is resolved to react in particular ways to dismantle the establishment. These commisive speech acts are deeply linked to coercion, a strategic function that denotes who has the control or who is more powerful. Nonetheless, here, threatening is not only a means of being discursively in control but also a means of showing no fear of the system.
220.127.116.11.1.4 Directives A last type of speech act found in the passage is the directive one. Directive speech acts are constituted by  and  and correspond to orders, specifically. The phrase pa lante in  and the imperative dignify in  command the subalterns to execute actions; to move forward and to
never give up in the case of ; to live proudly and to struggle for a better future in . It is relevant to highlight that in both cases the subalterns are the ones alluded, which means they are encouraged to get involved in order to change their reality. These directive speech acts have a strong connection to the political discourse strategic function of coercion; a function that implies a certain degree of control over the actions of those who are receiving the orders. Yet,  and  are not a simple matter of control as the traditional meaning of coercion implies it. Here the rappers -the subalterns- are talking to other subalterns which immediately softens the command and makes it a wise encouragement for future difficult times rather than an imposition. Summing up, the speech acts analyzed are linked to two political discourse strategic functions: legitimization-delegitimization and coercion. Nevertheless, the first one is by far the most recurring function in the text. This means that the pragmatic choices -speech acts-are mainly focused on vindicating the subalterns’ rights, immigrants’ but also indigenous ones; and, at the same time, they concentrate on delegitimizing and weakening the hegemony.
18.104.22.168.2 Pronouns The use of pronouns in the passage allow the representation of the different sociopolitical relationships that arise between those who participate in this discourse. These participants are the discourse producers themselves, the group they consider they belong to and the ones they address as their opponents. In this sense, both the pronouns and their variants allocate roles and delimit spaces within the discourse and make reference to the bigger sociopolitical frame. First, it is pertinent to start with the uses of the pronoun I and its variants me and my. The first person singular is used in , , , ,  and  through the personal pronoun I; in  and  in the form me; and in ,  and  in the form my. Through these uses, the speaker’s position, as resistance discourse producer, as subaltern, is legitimized. Following the same logic, the third person plural is used to legitimize the subalterns as a group in  when the speaker employs the pronoun they and its variant their. In order to refer to the powerful -the government, the police and even a dictator- the speaker utilizes the pronouns you, him and they. The second person singular you is used in  and  to refer to the “Yankees” or the United States government. The third person singular in the form him is employed in  to refer to Pinochet, the Chilean dictator. Finally, the third person plural they is present in  and  to address the police. All of these uses have the function of delegitimizing the hegemony, its practices and, broadly speaking, its discourse. As already shown, the use of pronouns assigns sociopolitical roles and relations that demarcate limits between groups. These limits allow the distinction made concerning one of the groups being veracious, and the other deceiving; ratifying the subalterns’ unofficial uninstitutional discourse, and disapproving the hegemonic one. That is why the use of pronouns in this fragment can be associated to the legitimization-delegitimization political discourse strategic function.
However, and even though there exists a predominance of such function, the imposition of roles within the text also involves a degree of coercion as the different participants are arbitrarily placed within predetermined spaces in the sociopolitical frame.
Semantic level In the semantic level of this fragment, the lexical-semantic field of the legal immigration
stands out as it can be appreciated in , , ,  and . Immigration, as presented in these propositions, corresponds to an action which is legal and, therefore, it should not be either socially condemned or punished by the law. This lexical-semantic field is particularly evidenced through the word alien in  and , and through the word inmigrante in . These terms show no shame of being an immigrant and bestow dignity on all those people who are labelled as such and discriminated against for being in that position. In this sense, an explicit point is made in proposition  concerning the fact that immigrants are legal; and even more incisively, in  the phrase human being is straightforward and resounding, making it clear that immigrants are humans in the first place. As deduced from , immigrants -human beings- do have rights and cannot be neglected the possibility for their basic needs to be met. All the propositions analyzed above are related to the legitimization function; they legitimize the subalterns’ vision of immigration as legal and respectable. Nevertheless, the immigration semantic field present in the passage does not denote an isolated struggle event, but rather tells us about a subalterns’ historical struggle for their rights as immigrants, both in the United States and in other first world countries. This historical struggle, part of the subalterns’ memory, is recovered and legitimized in the passage taken from “I’m an alien”. As it is usual, the function of legitimization goes hand in hand with the delegitimization one, and the passage corroborates it. The propositions already analyzed are ultimately directed towards the delegitimization of the vision held and promoted by the hegemonic power which, on the contrary, conceives immigration as an illegal act. The delegitimization function can be observed in a concrete way in  and . The phrases out of this world and second class, and the words outcasted and captive reveal a violent scheme of immigration having an influence on discourse, decisions and actions that results in lessening the quality of life of numerous people around the globe. Having said that, we can consider the presence of another lexical-semantic field within the text. After all, anytime the hegemonic vision of immigration is sternly disapproved, the field of institutional violence/control is brought into play. Segregation and discrimination are nothing else but some of the multiple expressions through which the violence exercised from above is materialized. In this way, out of this world, second class, outcasted and captive reveal how subjugated the subalterns have been -and still are- as a result of a system that has full control thanks to its violent practices.
Syntactic level In terms of syntax, no relevant elements were identified within the text. Thus, no analysis
can be carried out regarding this level.
Conclusion The analysis of “I’m an alien” shows that a diversity of linguistic elements has been inserted
in the text which are linked to two political discourse strategic functions -legitimizationdelegitimization and coercion. Yet, a third function can be recognized. Resistance, opposition and protest is present all throughout the text and is evident each time the subalterns’ historical memory is recovered, for example, when hegemonic practices such as segregation, discrimination, police persecution or an orchestrated dictatorship are unveiled and delegitimized; also when the struggle for immigrants’ and indigenous rights is uplifted and vindicated. Hence, the strategy of resistance, opposition and protest can be said to be contained in the fiber of Rebel Diaz’s discourse.
Fig. 3. 0’20’’ / 3’43’’
Frame 1 shows a girl placed in the foreground and also in the center; a megaphone is in her right hand and a piece of paper, from which she is reading, can be appreciated in front of her without exactly covering her face. The frame is in black and white, however, the clearer part of it is
in the girls’ face as a lot of light illuminates her and thus highlights her. In the background, the vague shape of part of the body of a guard or police officer standing can be seen. In this frame, the girl is reading a speech in the context of the 2011 Unidos Students’ protest against the Tucson Unified School District to avoid the curricular suppression of the Mexican American Studies (Three Sonorans News, 2011) -a clear example of the subalterns’ struggle. In that speech the girl addresses article 31 of the 2007 United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (officially published in 2008), according to which “indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions” (2008: 11). Frame 1, as a result, enters in a dialogue with both the Mexican American student’s demands, but also with the United Nations Declaration. This frame recovers the subalterns’ memory by making their tenacious struggle and their achievements visible; being the recognition of their rights the first step in a sustained liberation process. At the same time, the present aspect of the historical memory is provided by the presence of a current struggle carried out by young people in their schools and communities in order to be able to study and preserve their culture of origin. Even though the presence of a guard or police officer in the background does not seem to be relevant, especially if the image is not quite clear and dim, here we can say that it represents the inevitable shadow of persecution that has always disturbed immigrants and, in some way or another, tried to prevent them from expressing their voices.
Fig. 4. 0’48’’ / 3’43’’
Frame 2 shows a street in what could be called a ghetto. In the foreground there are houses, cars, garbage containers, a man and a police officer. In the foreground there is a house, garbage containers and Rodstarz, one of the two rappers, who appears in the center. The situation presented deals with the following: Rodstarz is running away from the immigration police, known as ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). That is why this frame immediately denotes the situation that millions of immigrants have had to face over time -that of being systematically persecuted for not having documents and being considered as illegal- not only in the United States, but also in other first world countries. Even though the frame does not necessarily refer to another specific text, it does enter in a dialogue with the history of Latinos -and immigrants in general- who have been criminalized for being undocumented and who have untiringly struggled to achieve a decent treatment. Here we can point out the fact that the linguistic text approaches exactly the same problem, as the producer sings: /out of this world, outcasted, held captive/ to refer to such discriminatory situation the subalterns have been fighting back for so long (See section 22.214.171.124.1.1). This way, it is possible to say that the frame recovers a big portion of the subaltern’s historical memory that tells us about immigration, segregation and struggle; and which allows the raising of subaltern voices, at the same time.
Fig. 5. 1’20’’ / 3’43’’
Frame 3 shows six people riding a car. Three adults are in the background whereas two adults and a kid are in the foreground. The kid is placed in the center, between the two adults.
Particular from this frame is the fact that all of them are wearing ski masks. These ski masks can be connected to the Zapatistas (The Zapatista Army of National Liberation), a socio-political expression of indigenous Mexican people that fights back the capitalist Hydra -a creature that never ceases growing up and strengthening itself. According to Saldaña-Portillo, “contrary to popular representation, Zapatistas are not a movement for broadened indigenous rights, but a movement for broadened citizens’ rights” (2001: 402); and contrary to the common belief that they cover their faces to hide themselves, the ski mask represents a collective ignored -indigenous and nonindigenous- identity, and allows to see that identity in its full manifestation (Ríos, 2015). Frame 3, in this sense, is textually linked to Zapatistas, and therefore, recovers the subalterns’ memory; the part that deals with the anticapitalistic resistance, with the struggle for equal conditions and same rights for everyone. Moreover, the fact that in this frame a kid appears wearing a ski mask underscores the present state and future perspective of subalterns as an empowered group whose new generations continue and will continue fighting back. Together with that, the fact that the kid appears in the foreground and is also in the center of the frame adds the meaning that new generations are both accompanied and supported by those who are older and wiser; that they are not alone in this present and future process of struggle.
Fig. 6. 3’27’’ / 3’43’’
Frame 4 shows a street in what seems to be a suburb. In the background there is a house, some leafless trees, a full garbage can, some vehicles and a wall of buildings in the distance. In the
center there is a hooded man opening his jacket to reveal the message on his T-shirt. The message reads “No human being is illegal” in yellow capital letters placed in this frame where everything else is in black and white, so then the message attracts all the attention. Taking into account the sentence “No human being is illegal” as intertextually relevant and visually highlighted, we can say that it directly defies the normative concept of illegal immigrants / aliens, widely used in the political circle, in the media and in everyday life. Even though this sentence can be considered as part of the general culture around the situation lived by immigrant communities as it is a message that can be easily accessed on the internet, seen in marches, etc., it makes an explicit intertextual reference to the words pronounced by Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and holocaust survivor (Khan, 2007). Elie Wiesel’s words are a clear defense of human beings’ right to be treated as such, not as objects that can be legal or illegal. In sum, this frame recovers the subalterns’ historical memory by making reference to a direct quotation that gives them back their dignity as humans, raises the voices of those who have been segregated and discriminated against, and, at the same time, confronts the widespread hegemonic conception that immigrants are illegal human beings that have to be either exploited or expelled just because they are subalterns; the same way this idea is presented and defended in the linguistic text when the discourse producer utters: /ilegal, I’m not / a human being out of FIS, so I what?/ (See section 126.96.36.199.1.1). A final comment to be made has to do with the ski mask the man is wearing. Same as in Frame 3, here the ski mask represents an identity that is proudly manifested -instead of hidden- and which reinforces the visivilization of immigrants as human beings.
Conclusion The intertextual elements introduced in the visual texts taken from “I’m an alien” help
recover the subalterns’ memory, in its past, present and future dimensions. Immigrants’, indigenous and citizens’ rights are the main focus. In fact, activism and resistance seem to constitute Rebel Diaz’s great concern. Illegal immigration -starting by the normative concept of it, human rights negation, curricular suppression, police persecution/brutality and segregation/discrimination are exposed and toughly criticized.
188.8.131.52 Passage  they call it ADD when you wildin and don’t listen
 they make think you crazy if you question they system  crazy cause I look different than you  call me crazy  like I’m the violent one  what I’m supposed to do  when they shut the stores down and there ain’t no food?  now that’s crazy  but I know what it isn’t crazy  the words Garvey spoke  the same slang as Malcolm  what’s crazy is you in a gang  what’s crazy’s how they control our brain  like all I wanna do is criticize and argue  like my screws loose  cause I say what I want to  shit, say what I got to  es por eso que canto  queremos un cambio  they want you sedated, drugged and medicated
184.108.40.206.1 Speech acts Speech acts of the expressive and assertive type can be found in the passage taken from “Craazy”. It is necessary to immediately highlight that both expressives and assertives are speech acts that can be related to the political discourse strategic function of legitimization-delegitimization. As already explained in our methodological framework and in the analysis of “I’m an alien”, the main purpose of this strategy is to present the speaker as a reliable individual who tells the truth, and at the same time, to put the opponent down.
220.127.116.11.1.1 Expressives Expressive speech acts in this passage are constituted by propositions , , , ,  and . Through these, the powerful who rule the system are accused of making the subalterns believe they are sick and insane for the fact that they protest against social injustice and demand real and decent changes. This idea can be fully appreciated in proposition  in the verbal conjugation call and in the acronym ADD; in proposition  by means of the verbs make think and the adjective crazy. As stated in  through the words crazy and different and the verb look, the
powerful are accused of diagnosing the producer -an immigrant himself, and immigrants in general as insane just because they are dissimilar and do not fit a biased system, designed to categorize and separate people in the first place. In proposition  through the verb call and the adjective crazy. Or as stated in  with the help of the verbal conjugations say and want which make a point in the fact that the powerful consider voicing an opinion contrary to the official discourse as a threat to the status quo; as something they are decided to stop and cut at the root. Proposition  also summons upon a harsh accusation against the powerful by expressing that they want the subalterns to be in a trance-like state, disconnected from reality, incapable of raising their voice, as it is expressed through the verb want and the adjectives sedated, drugged and medicated. Here, it is worth noting that all the ideas conveyed by propositions , , , ,  and  are supported by ,  and , which correspond to the arguments given by the ones in power to make the subalterns appear as irrational and vehement. However, through the word like in all three propositions ,  and ; and the verbal conjugation ‘m in , wanna, criticize and argue in , and loose in , exactly the opposite assumption is created. In effect, through these propositions the discourse producer suggests that all those arguments used by the powerful are invalid and, therefore, what he is saying is right, and the subalterns’ struggle is totally justified.
18.104.22.168.1.2 Assertives The other type of speech act present in this text is the assertive one. Propositions , , , , , , , ,  and  clearly exemplify truth claims. Through the verb shut down and the phrase there ain’t in  it is stated that the reason behind the subalterns’ struggle is social injustice, created and recreated by a violent system, in this case, governmental policies leading to hunger and suffering. Then, through the forms that’s and crazy in  it is stablished that what is truly insane is such social injustice, not the subalterns’ actions to revert it. The subsequent propositions follow the same line by affirming the type of things that are not sound, for example, being part of a criminal group and the control of the system over its people; this way, gang in  and control and brain in  configure solid truth claims about wrong things. Through proposition  the discourse producer asserts that not everything is insane and that there exist sensible things as he says know and isn’t; for instance, Garvey’s ideas in  when the producer utters words, Garvey and spoke; and Malcom X’s notions in  when he says same slang and Malcom. In other words, the producer recovers traces of the subalterns’ memory considering that both Garvey and Malcom X are regarded as outstanding figures in the civil and human rights movements, respectively (Aidi, 2015). This idea is supported and complemented with the visual elements where references to Malcom X, as an outstanding figure and role model for the subalterns, are also made (See Fig. 8 in section 22.214.171.124.). Finally, the assertions made in ,  and  provide a future perspective. The discourse producer emphasizes his need to say what is essential to come to the subalterns’ defense -a moral obligation to put it another way- and that is why he states say and got to in .
Proposition  strengthens the previous idea through the verbal conjugations es and canto, which explain that there are issues going on that cannot be overlooked and need to be sung/denounced; that is to say, the producer justifies his work, especially if a better future is desired. In  the producer makes a pluralization: he includes all subalterns and himself in the verbal conjugation queremos; and then he adds the word cambio, so he assures that, as a group, they do not agree with the current state of affairs, and thus aim at changing the established social order. In conclusion, the assertive speech acts allow the producer to state what is sane and what is insane according to his particular viewpoint; a point of view that is shared by the subalterns as a group. If we connect these speech acts -both expressive and assertive ones- to the political discourse strategic functions, it is possible to say that they are focused on legitimizing the producer’s discourse, the group he identifies with -the subalterns, and their past, present and future struggles as a collective. This implies that the recovering of the subalterns’ memory plays a key role, being the basis for present demands and future aspirations. Evidently, Garvey and Malcom X are not inserted in the text at random. If they are there, it is because they embody examples of strong convictions, tenacity and resistance that subalterns are proud of and understand as a precedent that should never be forgotten. Moreover, those examples have to be followed if social justice is the final goal. As expected, the speech acts analyzed are also focused on delegitimizing the hegemonic discourse and all ploys to restrain resistant actions. No room is left for doubt. The arguments given by those in power are simply rejected and discredited; presented as deceitful ideas used to delegitimize the subalterns’ actions.
126.96.36.199.2 Pronouns The use of pronouns in the passage reveals a lot about the roles within this resistance political discourse. To start with, it becomes relevant to note that the first person singular is, by far, the most recurrent pronoun in the passage. In fact, the word I appears in , , , , ,  and ; its variant me in ; my in ; and an implicit yo in . This abundant use immediately indicates the discourse producer’s need to introduce himself as a reliable speaker; as someone who’s credibility cannot be questioned. Therefore, employing the first person singular means the legitimization of that person and his ideas. The second most recurrent pronoun is they. In the passage, the third person plural is used exclusively to refer to the dominant groups who are in charge of controlling the system and subjugating the subalterns, as seen in , , ,  and . Contrary to the legitimization strategy related to the use of the first person singular, here the use of the third person plural is connected to the delegitimization function. Every time the word they is inserted in the passage, it is done to show the despicable actions the powerful execute and the linguistic strategies they use in order to maintain their position of power.
Another pronoun found in the passage is the second person singular you present in , ,  and  to directly talk to the subaltern: to tell him/her what is wrong with the system in ,  and  so he/she does not trust what the powerful say. The case of  is considerably different. Here, you is used to alert the subaltern that some things he/she does are detrimental to the subalterns’ struggle and, therefore, those behaviors have to be abandoned. Finally, you is used in , the only instance in which the powerful are mentioned in singular form. What is important to note is that the use of the pronoun you is linked to the strategic function of legitimizationdelegitimization. Both the subalterns’ and the powerful’s negative actions are condemned. But, most importantly, the subalterns and their struggles are vindicated as totally coherent. Summing up, the use of pronouns in the passage can be related to the legitimizationdelegitimization political discourse strategic function. The pronouns I, you and we are employed to legitimize the subalterns and the discourse produced from their ideological front; whereas the pronouns you and they are utilized to delegitimize those in power and their discursive and material practices. The only exception found to this systematization is  in which the delegitimization strategy applies to those subalterns who are or have been involved in illicit acts. The pronouns introduced in the fragment are also linked to the function of coercion, taking into account the imposition of roles that has been done. Certain pronouns have been chosen to refer to the dominant groups, and others to mention the subalterns. This way, a sociopolitical division has been established arbitrarily, probably contradicting the social stratification set up by the system. Important to highlight is that all the pronouns used are in close connection to the speech acts previously examined which offers a complete spectrum of the pragmatic level in the text.
Semantic level As to the semantic level in the fragment, the lexical-semantic field that stands out is the
institutional violence/control. This institutional violence/control can be understood as a thirst for power; as an unstoppable desire for maintaining the stablished social order on behalf of the dominant groups, even if this requires the introduction of violent practices. Thus, a discursive -and also material- fight over power is certainly involved. In this fight, the hegemony delegitimizes and coerces the subalterns so that any subversive attempt to destabilize the machine is disabled. The lexical-semantic field of the institutional violence/control can be fully appreciated in  through the word control. Similar meanings are conveyed in , , ,  and . Relevant lexical elements in these propositions then are ADD, crazy, different, violent and screws loose. All of them point to the way the powerful want the subalterns to be seen by the rest of the society and, that way, limit their credibility. Proposition  expands the idea of violence and control through the words sedated, drugged and medicated which corresponds to the state the powerful want the subalterns to be in, so they are unable to fight back. Finally, through the words criticize and argue in  the idea that those in power damage the subalterns’ image by declaring that their struggle is
unjustified and their needs are unreal is conveyed. Accordingly, nobody seems to be allowed to criticize the system, and the ones who dare to criticize it are inevitably disparaged and beaten into submission. This analysis reveals the discursive fight over power, showing the legitimizing and delegitimizing strategies utilized by the dominant groups, as they do anything at hand to keep people in line, namely, declare them insane, drugged them, etc. But, in parallel, and what really matters here is that the elements analyzed show the subalterns’ legitimization-delegitimization counterattack which is clear in the fragment: the more they are abused, violated and tried to control, the more they resist. No wonder why Rebel Diaz have introduced these lexical-semantic choices in the text.
Syntactic level No elements in this level were found. In consequence, no analysis can be done regarding
Conclusion Numerous linguistic elements have been chosen in this text both in its pragmatic and
semantic levels. Those elements show a strong connection to the political discourse strategic functions of legitimization-delegitimization and coercion. Likewise, the strategy of resistance, opposition and protest can be identified in the background of the entire fragment as different aspects of the subalterns’ historical memory are recovered. Both by legitimizing the subalterns’ struggles for their rights as immigrants and human beings, and by delegitimizing and coercing those in power and their discriminatory violent controlling practices (the suppression of subaltern voices and discriminatory governmental policies), the resistance strategy becomes evident and makes complete sense.
Fig. 7. 0’34’’ / 3’55’’
Frame 1 shows a completely black background. In the foreground, brothers Rodstarz and G1 along with C-Rayz Walz, an invited rapper, are placed. All of them are wearing black T-shirts; Rodstarz’s one is printed with the name of the duo in white: Rebel Diaz; and C-Ray Walz’s has a white skull. The three rappers are standing in front of the camera, exhibiting their painted faces while they sing. The light in this frame only shines over the three rappers, especially over their heads, highlighting the designs their wearing. These painted faces are fairly allusive as they can be related to the Day of the Dead, a Mexican tradition to recall family members who have passed away (Valtierra, 2013). Otherwise stated, Frame 1 enters in a dialogue with this Latin American (although primarily Mexican) traditional celebration. Considering that this tradition has very little to do with commercial matters, the Day of the Dead can be said to constitute a symbol of cultural resistance. Contrary to a consumer capitalist society in which culture is another marketable object, here, the indigenous, the roots and the customs are vindicated. In fact, this celebration is a clear expression of cultural heritage, collective memory and ethnic pride (Marchi, 2009); thus making up an important part of the subalterns’ memory which is recovered and negotiated in Frame 1 through the dead-like painted faces. All of this, the celebration of such particular day and the subsequent cultural resistance involved, may well be emphasized by the darkness of the frame which probably symbolizes death, same as the white skull in C-Rayz Walz’s T-shirt that reinforces the concepts and meanings that are being conveyed.
Fig. 8. 1’43’’ / 3’55’’ Frame 2 also shows a black background. But here, C-Rayz Walz’s face and arms are in the foreground and also in the center. The spotlight, same as in Frame 1, is on the rapper, so that his painted face and his crossed arms are totally highlighted. For starters, it is necessary to note that his face is painted in a way that makes explicit reference to the traditional celebration of the Day of the Dead (Valtierra, 2013). This means that Frame 2 supports the idea presented in Frame 1 and, therefore, the subalterns’ ethnic traditions are visibilized and elevated; opposing consumer capitalist ideals; as a response to the denial of their traditions. However, Frame 2 holds a conversation with another text and recovers another part of the subalterns’ historical memory. The rapper is exhibiting his crossed arms, forming an X. Such X is related to the human rights activist known as Malcom X (Aidi, 2015) and all the legacy he has left for the subalterns. With respect to this specific point, the linguistic text points out the same, simultaneously: /but I know what it isn’t crazy, the words Garvey spoke, the same slang as Malcolm/ which demonstrates the resourceful weaving of linguistic and visual choices, as elements are not randomly introduced but they rather obey to an aware and resolute decision on behalf of the discourse producers. (See section 188.8.131.52.1.2). Accordingly, this frame enters in a dialogue with both the Day of the Dead and Malcom X; and recovers the subalterns’ memory that deals with their roots and heritage, but also with their struggle for the recognition of their rights.
Conclusion In “Craazy”, the subalterns’ historical memory is recovered via the intertextual elements
introduced in the frames. Latin American (Mexican) traditions, understood as an expression of cultural resistance; and Malcom X and all his legacy as an activist with strong convictions are highlighted and vindicated. Following the same logic, the denial of immigrants’ ethnic traditions, human rights negation and culture as a marketable object are uncovered and disproved.
“Revolution has come”
184.108.40.206 Passage  The unemployed graduate  the teachers ain't havin’ it
 cameras everywhere  the kids is gangbangin’  this ain’t a war on drugs  it’s a war on the ’hood  the Democrats and Republicans both up to no good  they both got in bed with the multinacionales
 they sendin’ us to prison instead of sendin’ us to college  the janitor’s mop can’t clean the situation
 when the dictator of a nation is called a corporation
 swear to God on my mama never supported Obama  I’m a Chicago Riot Starter  like a Haymarket Martyr
220.127.116.11.1 Speech acts From the passage selected, the following types of speech acts can be identified: assertives, expressives and commisives; being the former, once again, the most abundant and recurring ones within the discourse under analysis.
18.104.22.168.1.1 Assertives Assertive speech acts then are , , , , ,  and . These propositions constitute truth claims about a complex reality as stated through unemployed in , ain’t havin’ in  and gangbangin’ in  to refer to the deplorable situation in which regular citizens are living in (or better said, getting by), and whose direct responsible are the politicians. In , cameras and everywhere reveal the extreme control exercised by the system, affecting not only the subalterns but also every single human being living under the gaze of the powerful. In this sense, can’t clean in  and dictator and corporation in  come to expound that politicians’ actions cannot be concealed any more, as they are too evident and so people are starting to realize how manipulated they have been. Finally, through  -supported by - the producer asserts that he is an activist who resists the system and incites revolution with the help of the conjugation ‘m and even compares himself with a Haymarket Martyr (Green, 2006; River, 2016), as he fights for a better living and working conditions. These assertive speech acts are related to the strategic function of legitimizationdelegitimization. They are intended to confirm the validity of the subalterns’ standpoint: a central part of their memory is recovered, and both their actions and the discourse framing them are legitimized. But these speech acts are also meant to disapprove the politicians’ -and, in general, the powerful’s- overpowering practices and, therefore, their official institutional discourse.
22.214.171.124.1.2 Expressives Another type of speech act present in the passage taken from “Revolution has come” lyrics is the expressive one, in the form of accusations. Propositions , , ,  and  are clear examples; they blame the system and the politicians who rule it for their abusive practices. In , through the verbal conjugation ain’t, and the nouns war and drugs, and in  through ’s, war and ’hood the producer introduces the idea that the system is configured to fight the subalterns as they truly represent a threat to the status quo, but not the drug industry because it is part of a corrupt capitalist system. The accusations proceed with ,  and , where the producer blackens the name of the politicians. He says Democrats, Republicans and no good in ; and got in bed with and multinacionales in  to denounce a filthy pact between them. These ideas introduced through  and  are also developed by means of the visual choices in the frames, thus making a close match between the linguistic and visual texts (See Fig. 10 in section 126.96.36.199. and Fig. 11 in section 188.8.131.52.). Finally, sending and prison in  reinforce the previous idea that the system does everything at hand to quiet the subalterns down, as they seem dangerous to the system. If they are offered education, if they have access to knowledge, they will have more intellectual weapons to defend themselves and to counterattack the hegemonic power. Expressive speech acts, as well as assertive ones, are linked to the political discourse strategic function of legitimization-delegitimization. They are utilized to defend a position, in this case, the subalterns’ ideas; and to besmirch others’, here, the viewpoint of the political circle. In
consequence, it happens to be that the official institutional discourse is disobeyed and defied by the subalterns’ unofficial uninstitutional one.
184.108.40.206.1.3 Commisives The last type of speech act found in the fragment is the commisive. However, its presence is far from being abundant like the assertives or expressives. The only commisive speech act present in the passage is , in which the verbal conjugation swear and the sequence never supported Obama make it clear that the producer does not trust politicians, not even the president himself -the one that was supposed to safeguard subalterns’ rights. Even though this kind of speech act could be related to the strategic function of dissimulation, it is difficult to consider it as such in this particular context -frontal politically conscious rap lyrics. Proposition  may be understood as a way of emphasizing and legitimizing the producer’s words -and, of course, delegitimizing Obamarather than a stratagem for veiling evidence.
220.127.116.11.2 Pronouns As explained in our methodological framework and our previous analyses, the use of pronouns has to do with setting limits and drawing a borderline between different groups of people. The use of pronouns in the fragment taken from “Revolution has come” is not an exception. In fact, several pronouns are employed to achieve this goal. The third person plural is utilized to invoke the politicians within the passage under analysis. This use is made clear in  and  with the aid of the pronoun they. There is, no doubt, a specific purpose behind this use. A linguistic choice like this can be straightforwardly related to the strategic function of delegitimization, especially if the speech acts embodied by propositions  and  are also considered. This implies that both Democrats and Republicans (as explicitly stated in the text) are being disparaged because of their most obscure actions -such as being in collusion with the multinationals- and, therefore, their market economy discourse is being discredited, too. The first person plural, in its variant us, is employed in  to refer to the subalterns -the producer included. This use instantly indicates that they are receiving someone else’s actions. More precisely, proposition  conveys the idea that subalterns are victims of politicians of all colors, as they are not given the possibility to go to school, but are being sent to prison instead. If this use is related to the political discourse strategic functions, the legitimization-delegitimization is the one that best suits the purpose of us in . This linguistic choice is intended to uplift the subalterns’ discourse and to dishonor the politicians by presenting them as victimizers. The first person singular, the last pronoun present in the fragment, allows the discourse producer to expressly introduce himself as seen in proposition . In other words, I in  permits the producer to identify himself as a fighting subaltern without hesitation; and to conflict himself with his opponents -the politicians. The use of the first person singular is, then, linked to the
legitimization-delegitimization strategy. The goal is to invigorate his position as a rioter; as someone who drives subalterns forward in pursuit of real changes in the system. Apart from the legitimization-delegitimization function already mentioned, another function coercion- is frequently related to the use of pronouns within texts. This case is not an exception. The pronouns in the text demarcate sociopolitical spaces and roles. The dominant groups are placed in a position of power from where they control and abuse; and the subalterns are situated in a space of subjugation from where they do not have a possibility to protest. As this stratification of the social classes in society is not necessarily in accordance with the one established by the system, we can assume that some degree of coercion is present here too.
Semantic level A prominent lexical-semantic field within the semantic level is the institutional
violence/control. Throughout the fragment, a reality is presented: the one created by the politicians and the one they preserve thanks to the institutional violence/control towards the subalterns. As stated by the discourse producer, this kind of violence is not directed to the actually negative things taking place in society, but rather to those who mean a threat to the maintenance of such fabricated reality. This idea becomes clear in  by means of the words ain’t, war and drugs and in  through war and hood. In other words, politicians fight those whose actions may risk the status quo. They do not fight the drug industry as it is part of a capitalist system, but they do fight regular people, the working-class and practically anyone who challenges the established sociopolitical conditions of inequality, such as the graduate in  and the teachers in . Institutional violence/control can also be identified within the passage in other aspects. According to the producer, society is no longer being ruled by the politicians themselves. Powerful companies, making profits out of the exploitation of the subalterns, are the ones who control the system and make important sociopolitical decisions. This conceptualization is patent in  through they, got in bed and multinacionales, and even clearer in  through the nouns dictator, nation and corporation. This means to say that the capitalist system, ruled by politicians and, largely, by corporations, guards power and money. As a result, subalterns’ basic needs remain in the background and come to be an obstacle to the capitalist system development, and not the main priority as they should be. All the ideas already discussed above tell about a subaltern mental framework. Violence and control are assimilated with the social injustice produced, reproduced and legitimized by the hegemonic power. However, this does not mean that subalterns know only of this type of violence/control; from a vast range, they have incorporated the institutional violence/control as one of its multiple forms, as one that gains importance due to its social impact. Having said that, it is possible to relate this lexical-semantic field to the legitimizationdelegitimization strategic function. The linguistic elements introduced in the text point to the
delegitimization of the dominant socioeconomic model in which power and money prevail over subalterns’ needs, and in which subalterns constitute a threat to the status quo. Therefore, the institutional discourse produced by the ones in power -both politicians and corporations- is bluntly discredited. Together with that, the discourse produced from subaltern trenches is ratified, both in its present and past expressions, as seen in  Chicago Riot Starter and in  Haymarket Martyr, respectively.
Syntactic level No linguistic elements regarding syntax could be found within the fragment taken from
“Revolution has come”. Consequently, no analysis could be carried out in this level.
Conclusion As it was shown throughout the analysis, different elements have been introduced in
“Revolution has come” which are connected to the legitimization-delegitimization and coercion political discourse strategic functions. Activism and resistance, exemplified by the Haymarket Martyrs and their fight for workers’ rights, are recovered from the subalterns’ historical memory and then dignified and legitimized. Political corruption, corporate control and, generally speaking, institutional violence/control are unveiled, questioned and, in consequence, delegitimized. The imposition of certain roles within the text, i.e. the hegemonic groups versus the subalterns, tells us about a coercive key strategy to discursively disorganize the social order and challenge the system. However, these two functions do not occur in isolation. As explained in previous analyses, the political function of resistance, opposition and protest is patent in every linguistic choice, either to legitimize the subalterns’ discourse or to coerce and delegitimize the hegemonic one.
Fig. 9. 0’53’’ / 4’12’’
Frame 1 shows several people in a room, around a table, both in the foreground and background, most of them with their fists raised, either sitting or standing. Rodstarz is standing in the center, with his left fist raised, wearing a beret and facing the camera, in what seems to be a meeting led by himself. To begin with, fists raised may be understood as a call for revolution (the same way the title of the song itself indicates it), as a call for rising up against an oppressive system that causes social injustice. Secondly, the beret may be related to the Brown Berets, a group of Mexican/American activists fighting for the self-determination of their community from the 1960’s onwards (Montes, 2003). Consequently, Frame 1 negotiates revolution and enters in a dialogue with the Mexican/American’s demands. This dialogue leads to the recovering of the subalterns’ memory, a relevant portion of it referring to immigration, but also to segregation and police brutality, due to square-minded governmental policies implemented to approach the phenomenon over time. Unfortunately, this is far from being a solved issue. Just by revising some of the wildest ideas proposed by Donald Trump, the new president of The United States, during his presidential campaign, such as deporting millions of immigrants (Aljazeera, 2016) or building a wall and make Mexico pay for it (Culhane, 2016), it is possible to see that the subalterns’ historical memory makes sense in the present, and the struggle goes on.
Fig. 10. 1’19’’ / 4’12’’
Frame 2 shows, in the foreground, two men wearing suits and ties, but most importantly, wearing masks of former presidents of The United States: George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In the background, which is out of focus, there is a street, cars and a woman watching what is happening. The fact that the background is out of focus immediately suggests that what is being highlighted are the presidents, over anything else that may appear in the setting. This frame would probably make no sense in isolation, as they are just standing on the street, grinning. However, if the linguistic text is taken into account, it is possible to realize that Frame 2 represents a lot more than what its surface displays. According to the linguistic text, Democrats and Republicans have betrayed the subalterns in the sense that they both have been involved with multinational corporations in an economic and political pact. So, instead of giving the subalterns the protection they need, politicians are colluded with the corporate elite: /the Democrats and Republicans both up to no good, they both got in bed with the multinacionales/ (See section 18.104.22.168.1.2.). Therefore, Frame 2 enters in a dialogue with this treason affecting the subalterns in a direct way, and aids the recovering of their historical memory: whoever becomes president, either a Democrat or a Republican, regardless of their promises, the subalterns continue being wronged.
Fig. 11. 1’21’’ / 4’12’’
Frame 3 shows, in the foreground, a world map in which the names of several corporations replace the names of continents and countries. In the background, it is possible to see the vague shape of three men wearing formal clothes, presumably, business men (so as to try to represent those powerful who rule the corporations). Accordingly, this frame enters in a dialogue with those corporations and the world they have created: a world where human beings have been reduced to potential consumers, subjugated to consumption, governed by private power or “multinacionales” as referred to in the linguistic text previously analyzed: /the janitor’s mop can’t clean the situation, when the dictator of a nation is called a corporation/ (See section 22.214.171.124.1.2.). Following Chomsky’s notions, this world map would represent “a kind of framework of world government that also operates very remotely, in secret, without scrutiny, without accountability. Its primary constituents are in fact precisely the transnational corporations and the financial institutions. It reflects their interests.” (2003: 239). In consequence, Frame 3 recovers the subalterns’ historical memory, the part dealing with persistent domination throughout history, though manifested in different ways in different times. Today’s domination can be said to be of the economic type, private and global, in that subalterns have very little room to choose the way they want to live their lives, except for what credit card to use to pay for, in the saddest cases, basic needs like food, health and education. The truth is that subalterns keep being oppressed until the very same present, probably, in a subtler mode, which is, in turn, the most Machiavellian subjugation sociopolitical and economic design ever conceived.
126.96.36.199 Conclusion The subalterns’ historical memory is recovered in the visual part of “Revolution has come” by visibilizing the activism and resistance of the Brown Berets regarding Mexican-American’s demands to be treated as immigrants with rights -as human beings, to clear up the matter. Segregation/discrimination, police persecution/brutality, political corruption and corporate control are prominent negative aspects also recovered from the subalterns’ memory affecting them up to now. Nevertheless, these aspects are not simply presented. They are openly questioned and condemned.
188.8.131.52 Passage  I’ve been in Athena’s Greece when they clash with police  and Germany with the Antifascist hitting the streets  NATO, the hired gun of banks running the G8  they can’t hide at Camp David  disaster warmakers is after all the last remaining natural assets  oil under the sand in Iran  the working class city  or May First Starter  the eight-hour day  the Haymarket Martyrs  that’s why I fight the power like the PE, so  just to prove the Fox News they got the whole thing wrong  so I’m screaming Intifada at an immigrant redada  organized hit the streets  march, protest, sing  for a new beginning  it’s the American Spring  be prepared  never scared  the end ain’t near  nah, we just getting started
184.108.40.206.1 Speech acts Within the passage taken from “American spring”, three types of speech acts are detected: assertives, expressives and directives. Speech acts, as tackled in the methodological framework of this inquiry, represent a language-action communion. This way, assertives can be understood as truth assertions that configure and reconfigure the reality; expressives can take the form of culpability accusations; and directives can be embodied by commands, although not always restraining ones.
220.127.116.11.1.1 Assertives A first type of speech act, and the most abundant within the fragment, is the assertive one. Propositions , , , , , , , , , ,  and  constitute truth claims about the world order. In ,  and , the producer assures he knows what is happening in other countries by stating he has been in those places when demonstrations take place, and the police makes use of force to repress demonstrators, for example, in  through the verbs ’ve been and clash and the noun police. Still more, the producer asserts he has been directly involved in demonstrations in those places as seen in  through the preposition with, the noun Antifascists and the verb hitting. Propositions , ,  and  are assertions about subaltern struggles that have become symbols of resistance, and therefore, those struggles are recovered as part of the subalterns’ historical memory. In other words, working class in , May First Starter in , eighthour day in  and Haymarket Martyrs in  come to state the relevance of the subalterns’ fight and the significance they have until now for the collective. Immediately, the discourse producer asserts that all those past struggles represent his current motivation to continue fighting an unjust system, as it can be observed in  through the phrase that’s why, the verb fight and the noun power. To this, he adds that he fights because he needs to present the facts the way they really are; not the twisted way they are presented by the media, specifically by Fox News, as expressed in  through the verb prove and the phrase whole thing wrong. In  the producer asserts he cannot be and is not silent when facing social injustice as he raises his voice for all subalterns by means of the phrase ’m screaming, the noun Intifada -meaning Palestinian uprising (Arrigoni, 2010)- and the phrase immigrant redada. Finally, in propositions ,  and  the idea that a new world order is possible is presented; what subalterns are doing is to start a revolution in pursuit of a better future for everyone without exceptions. So, American Spring in , end, ain’t and near in  and just and getting started in  emphasize that far from being stopped, the subalterns are prepared for and decided to change the status quo. These speech acts, the assertive ones, are meant to state and ratify facts the way they are displayed by who produces them. Assertive speech acts then serve the function of legitimizing the
producer’s forthright disruptive words as the absolute truth, the producer himself as a reliable subaltern spokesman and the subalterns as a collective. But the legitimization strategic function cannot be conceived without its counterpart -the delegitimization. Here, the fact that they system as a whole is being criticized and that its official institutional discourse is under judgment is made fairly clear. A dauntless subaltern discourse like the one analyzed above is, irrefutably, the declaration of a discursive war on the hegemony.
18.104.22.168.1.2 Expressives A second kind of speech act found in the passage is the expressive one present in , ,  and . Proposition  encompasses an explicit incrimination against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a killing machine regulated by the banks and the countries belonging to the G8, as expressed in  by means of the word NATO and the phrase hired gun. A parallel accusation can be observed in the visual choices, thus accentuating the idea presented here (See Fig. 13 in section 22.214.171.124.). Proposition , through the phrase can’t hide, adds the idea that a frequent practice is that all these entities are excused from their responsibilities once they have accomplished their evil missions; however, this situation is no longer tenable because their darkest actions are being exposed to society. Proposition  and  constitute serious accusations against an articulated system that is capable of steamrolling subaltern communities and making profits out of their lands and resources in the name of progress, security and the so-called war on terror. This in patent through the words warmakers and after and the phrase natural assets in ; and through the words oil and Iran in . This accusation is not only carried out through the linguistic choices but also by means of the visual elements introduced in the texts (See Fig 15. In section 126.96.36.199.). The expressive speech acts analyzed, as stated before, constitute accusations against the system. In this sense, they are connected to the delegitimization strategic function. They are meant to discredit systemic practices and the discourse around them. Also, they are intended to legitimize the resistance subaltern discourse and the one who publicly delivers it.
188.8.131.52.1.3 Directives A last type of speech act present in the fragment is the directive. Propositions , ,  and  correspond to commands directed to the subalterns. This is possible to be observed through the imperative verbal forms hit in , march, protest and sing in , be in , and the adverb never in . These orders should conventionally be related to the political discourse strategic function of coercion. Nonetheless, here, same as in previous analyses, it is difficult to believe that these orders could represent a coercive strategy. As long as the producer is calling upon the subalterns to take action and to be brave, the orders lose harshness and become more a friendly -but still firm- encouragement.
After analyzing the speech acts found in the fragment, it is possible to assert that the subalterns’ historical memory is recovered. A substantial portion of it refers to the struggle carried out by American workers in the quest for humane working conditions during the 1880’s, being the Haymarket Affair the most critical point (Horowitz, 1964) and reflecting the terrible repression the subalterns suffered. Regarding the more current context, but also part of the memory that is being accumulated, the situation in Greece and Germany is tackled. Without going any further, the case of Greece tells a lot about the subalterns’ contemporary difficult times as they have had to pay the price for a broken political and economic system concerning stifling pay cuts and taxes (Aljazeera, 2016; Psaropoulos, 2016).
184.108.40.206.2 Pronouns The pronouns detected in the passage taken from “American spring” lyrics reflect the organization within society in terms of specific sociopolitical roles and spaces, primarily, to establish limits between those who have the power and those who do not. This is why some personal pronouns are used to refer to the subalterns while others are employed to mention the powerful. In order to refer to the subalterns, four different pronouns have been inserted in the passage. The first person singular I is explicit in ,  and  which allows the discourse producer to identify himself. The first person plural we in  to identify the producer and the group he belongs to -the subalterns. The third person plural they in  to mention a specific group of struggling subalterns. And the second person singular, an implicit you for the imperative forms in  and  to allude to the subalterns as a collective. A more reduced number of pronouns are utilized to mention the dominant groups. Only the third person plural they has been inserted in the fragment, making an allusion to those in power. In proposition , they refers to the politicians and businessmen who are behind organized money networks. In , they is used to mention the people controlling and manipulating Fox News. These uses, both the pronouns employed to invoke the subalterns and the powerful, respond to the strategic function of legitimizing and delegitimizing specific sociopolitical positions. On the one hand, the subalterns and, thus, their discourse of resistance is legitimized before the entire society. On the other hand, the powerful and their hegemonic discourse are presented as lacking legitimacy, and are then disparaged. In addition, the function of coercion is intrinsically present in the text considering the arbitrariness with which these sociopolitical roles have been assigned. In some way or another, both the dominant groups and the subalterns have been forced to fit that social division, either they like them or not.
Semantic level As to the semantic level, a clear lexical-semantic field can be identified throughout the
passage: the institutional violence/control. Propositions , , , ,  and  show this
particular subaltern scheme by attacking the powerful’s organized -and legalized- crime. NATO, banks and G8 in  and Camp David in  account for this type of violence/control and make a point in the fact that they all are part of the same mafia. Going into detail about what this mafia does, warmakers, after and last remaining natural assets in  an oil and in Iran in  exemplify the kind of “legal” activities the dominant groups are allowed to carry out, regardless the consequences for the subalterns -and for the planet at large. Similarly, Fox News in  and immigrant redada in  imply that both the corporate mass media and the police are concomitant part of an articulated violent system in which the powerful’s interests have always been protected at the subalterns’ expense. Propositions  and , therefore, round out this conception of violence/control as something purely structural, official and institutional, coming from high circles of power and encompassing all necessary areas so that the status quo is maintained. These meanings, however, are not only negotiated here in the linguistic text, but also in the features present in the visual mode, where the point is made through a concrete example (See Fig. 12 in section 220.127.116.11). The lexical-semantic field of the institutional violence/control present in the fragment represents a blatant way of discrediting the powerful and their discourse. Thus, it is possible to relate it to the political discourse strategic function of legitimization-delegitimization. But this function entails the idea that an unofficial discourse is being legitimized simultaneously. Such legitimized discourse is the subalterns’ one. As expressed in  clash with police,  hitting the streets,  May First Starter,  Haymarket Martyrs,  Intifada,  hit the streets and  march, protest, sing, subaltern actions, considered as justified struggle rather than mere violence, are defended and validated.
Syntactic level No relevant elements were found within the text concerning this level. Accordingly, no
analysis can be done on syntax.
Conclusion Once again, as it has occurred with the previous analyses, we can conclude that the
linguistic elements inserted in the text are linked to three of the four political discourse strategic functions. Legitimization-delegitimization, coercion and resistance, opposition and protest are the strategies employed by Rebel Diaz. In specific, the subalterns’ memory is recovered and legitimized as they refer to May First, the Haymarket Martyrs -therefore, the fight for workers’ rights- subaltern demonstrations around the world and, in general, activism and resistance throughout time. The strategies of delegitimization and coercion become patent as institutional violence/control, police persecution/brutality, war, official institutions and economic interests behind war, as well as media manipulation of information are unveiled and confronted. The function of resistance, opposition and protest, on the contrary, is not exclusively connected to some specific aspects but rather linked to
the complete spectrum, both in the recovering and defense of the subalterns’ memories, and in the insubordination expressed towards hegemonic vicious actions.
Fig. 12. 0’18’’ / 3’59’’
Frame 1, in its background, shows people holding a yellow picket sign in a demonstration. What is in the foreground is the picket sign itself with an image of Carlos Montes, a MexicanAmerican anti-war and immigrants’ rights activist who has been charged for, supposedly, violating the firearms code (The Stream, 2011). The message in the picket sign reads “OPPOSING WAR IS NOT A CRIME!” in white color and capital letters, stating the reason behind the demand. The message continues with the demand “DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST CARLOS MONTES!” also in capital letters but this time in red color, which highlights it -or in a figurative way, shouts itreflecting how other activists have seen the situation: as politically motivated and, therefore, totally unjustified. As Carlos Montes was making too much noise, something inconvenient for the United States government, charging him was a means of stopping him -at least for a while- and, incidentally, threatening every single activist in the country. Frame 1, therefore, enters in a dialogue with activists’ demands to stop the wars fabricated by The United States and, also, with the institutional repression as a primitive tool to suffocate dissidence. These two aspects are intimately related to the subalterns’ historical memory, considering the fact that any time the subalterns have
tried to express their discontent whichever their reasons are, violence -usually pure and direct- has been used against them (Chomsky, 2015). Institutional violence/control, as presented in the linguistic text previously analyzed, constitutes an instrument to achieve economic and political goals for the part of the powerful (See section 18.104.22.168.). This means that institutional violence/control is engrained in the capitalist system and facilitates its survival. In consequence, the frame recovers both the subalterns’ mechanisms to fight the power and the mechanisms through which they have been coerced over time.
Fig. 13. 0’32’’ / 3’59’’
Frame 2 shows an out of focus march on the street with people either walking or riding bikes, which constitutes the background. In the foreground and also placed in the center of the frame there is a white picket sign. The picket sign reads “NO TO NATO” (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a military coalition for collective defense) in capital black letters and where the first word expressing negation is underlined in red, thus emphasizing it. As a result, this frame has a dialogue with NATO and all the negative connotations its campaigns entail, as the so called “collective defense” has been used to justify inhumane solutions to international conflicts, namely, unpunished war crimes against subalterns in third world countries (Simma, 1999; Massa, 2006). Clearly, this frame recovers part of the subalterns’ historical memory; the one part that tells about subjection and, even worse, cold-blooded actions like genocide and ethnic cleansing in the name of global security or any other pseudo-diplomatic excuses. At the same time, Frame 2 rescues the
subalterns’ memory that has to do with their honest but, for obvious reasons, rarely welcomed intentions to unveil a corrupt system through expressions such as marches and picket signs; in other words, the portion of memory dealing with resistance. This idea has also been introduced in the linguistic text -though not simultaneously- which corroborates that both linguistic and visual choices are in deep consonance as the discourse producer sings: /NATO, the hired gun of banks running the G8/ (See section 22.214.171.124.1.2.).
Fig. 14. 0’40’’ / 3’59’’
Frame 3 also shows a picket sign placed both in the foreground and in the center, in this case a black and yellow one. The background possibly corresponds to a march, however, it becomes difficult to describe it as it is completely out of focus. This picket sign has the message “NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL” in capital yellow letters which seem to be bright as they are on the spotlight and thus capture the whole attention. The same way this message was analyzed in a frame from “I’m an alien”, here we can say that it refers to the explicit words of Ellie Wiesel who, as a holocaust survivor (Khan, 2007), has dedicated the rest of his life to the human rights defense. “No human being is illegal”, undoubtedly, has to do with the underprivileged situation of thousands of undocumented immigrants in The United States, but also in other parts of the world, as they were not human beings who deserve a decent treatment. Then, Frame 3 encompasses several things: it enters in a dialogue with Ellie Wiesel’s ideas of equal rights for all mankind, recovers the
segregation and discrimination immigrants have gone through over time, and challenges the hegemonic conception of immigration as an illegal act.
Fig. 15. 1’51’ / 3’59’’
Frame 4 shows another picket sign, also placed in the foreground and in the center -a yellow, black and red one with the names of four presidents of the United States: LBJ, Nixon, Bush and Obama; and the name of two South Asian countries: Vietnam and Afghanistan. A doubleheaded arrow has been drawn around the presidents’ names, pointing to the countries. Contrary to the previous frames containing picket signs, this one in particular is in a sort of room -not a march or demonstration- which constitutes the background. Nonetheless, the foreground covers up great part of the frame, so then background becomes irrelevant for the analysis. Going to what truly conveys meaning, this picket sign enters in a deep dialogue with the idea that The United States has habitually managed its international politics through war, invading those countries in which its economic and political interests may be satisfied (Fernández, 2007) and justifying war by different means that “are much more convenient than the truth” (Chomsky, 2004: 260): under the pretext of liberating people from dictatorships and giving them back democracy during LBJ’s and Nixon’s eras; under the excuse of eradicating terrorism and thus avoiding another 9/11 in Bush’s and Obama’s periods. Of course, this frame deals with a mammoth subaltern issue as it recovers a bloody portion of the subalterns’ historical memory: the slaughter that has taken place in South Asia and the Middle East because of The United States systematic military interventions. As mentioned in the
linguistic analysis in the previous section, the subalterns’ suffering has a clear responsible -the powerful who rule a merciless system exclusively concerned about exploiting resources to make money, no matter who results hurt or dead: /disaster warmakers is after all the last remaining natural assets/ (See section 126.96.36.199.1.2.). In conclusion, Frame 4 recovers a painful part of the subalterns’ memory that tells about atrocities and misery caused by those in power, but usually presented to the rest of the world as necessity.
Conclusion The visual texts from “American spring” and the intertextual connections they establish help
recover aspects of the subalterns’ historical memory that deal, particularly, with activism and resistance, from picket signs in marches to the anti-war and immigrants’ rights activism exemplified by Carlos Montes. This memory of resistance has to do with the abuses the subalterns have suffered
segregation/discrimination, police persecution/brutality, military intervention, war and institutions and economic interests behind war are openly exposed, criticized and rejected.
RESULTS In order to systematically present the information obtained after the analysis of the linguistic
and visual texts, different summary charts have been designed. Each chart consists of a series of categories or indicators generated out of the same data analyzed, according to the patterns observed. However, in the case of the first diagram, the indicators correspond to the ones provided by the model of analysis itself.
“I’m an alien”
Speech acts /
Thematic roles /
protest Pronouns: (To refer to the subalterns) -I and its variants me and my -they and its variant their
(To refer to the powerful) -you -him -they “Craazy”
violence / control
related to the use
(To refer to the
-I and its variants
me and my -you -we
(To refer to the powerful) -you -they “Revolution has
violence / control
(To refer to the subalterns) -I
(To refer to the powerful) -they
(To refer to the subalterns) -I -we -they -you
(To refer to the powerful) -they
Fig. 16. Summary of descriptors in the linguistic texts analyzed.
The first diagram, Fig. 16, corresponds to the linguistic summary which is divided into two sets of descriptors. In the vertical arrangement the four linguistic texts are comprised: “I’m an alien”, “Craazy”, “Revolution has come” and “American Spring”. In the horizontal organization the linguistic descriptors are included: Pragmatic Level, Semantic Level and Syntactic Level. Two subcategories are comprised below each level, one of them being the Strategic Functions and the other varying according to the level itself: the Speech Acts / Pronouns on the Pragmatic Level, the LexicalSemantic Fields on the Semantic, and the Thematic Roles / Topicalization on the Syntactic. Regarding the pragmatic level, assertive and expressive speech acts are present in the four texts. These speech acts are related to the legitimization-delegitimization function, thus being this function the most recurrent one. Commisive speech acts are found in two of the four texts (“I’m an alien” and “Revolution has come”); and directives are also introduced in two texts (“I’m an alien” and “American spring”). Both commisives and directives are related to the political discourse strategic function of coercion. Consequently, it is possible to say that the speech acts introduced in the texts have, primarily, the functions of legitimizing-delegitimizing and coercing, but also they are all meant to resist, oppose and protest. Before we move on, there is an aspect concerning this section of the pragmatic level that needs to be addressed. We faced a sort of limitation when analyzing the speech acts present in the texts. Even though some propositions, when isolated, were clear truth claims (assertives), after approaching the surrounding propositions, they seemed to completely change their character and perform different actions. This means that, as macro-propositions, they performed accusations (expressives) instead of assertions. In cases in which this happened, we opted for considering the speech act related to the macro-proposition. As to the use of pronouns, their introduction in the texts demarcates spaces and assigns specific sociopolitical roles. Specifically, pronouns are used to divide social classes into two: the subalterns and the powerful; otherwise stated, the dominated and the dominant groups. Pronouns I -and its variants me and my- you, we -and its variant us- and they -and its variant their- are utilized to refer to the subalterns. Pronouns you, him and they are used to refer to the powerful. These uses of pronouns are linked to the strategic functions of legitimization-delegitimization, coercion and resistance, opposition and protest. Regarding the semantic level of analysis, the lexical-semantic fields present in the texts are the institutional violence / control present in all texts and the legal immigration present in “I’m an alien”. These lexical-semantic fields reveal a subaltern mental scheme in which violence comes from above -exercised by dominant groups- so subalterns have little choice but to resist it. The existing fields in the linguistic texts are related to the legitimization-delegitimization as well as the function of resistance, opposition and protest. Concretely, through the linguistic elements introduced in the texts, in their relation to the political discourse strategic functions, it is possible to appreciate that subalterns’ struggles for decent treatment as immigrants, indigenous people, workers, students, teachers -as human beings
in the end- are legitimized. Activism and all forms of resistance are validated, too. With respect to the delegitimization part of this function, violent systemic practices are discredited, namely, ethnic discrimination, police persecution, police brutality, dictatorial oppression, unemployment, media manipulation of information, official institutions with economic interests behind war, and collusion between politicians and multinational corporations. At the same time, the powerful are coerced by situating them in a dominant social position from where they control, force and manipulate; and by advising them that the subalterns are organized and ready to fight. Finally, the entire system is counterattacked through the function of resistance, opposition and protest that shapes and backs up each of the texts analyzed. To this point, it becomes necessary to highlight the fact that no significant elements were found regarding the syntactic level. Great part of the texts were constituted by propositions that were not sentences in themselves as they lacked verbs and, thus, it was almost impossible to carry out an analysis on this level. From among those few propositions that were sentences, only transitive uses -which are irrelevant for political discourse analysis purposes as they do not omit information- were detected. Contrary to what Chilton and Schäffner (2004) claim that transitive uses are the least common in political discourse, here in these linguistic texts we approached it was possible to appreciate that transitive uses were the most frequent occurrence pattern; the only one, indeed. The absence of intransitive uses would suggest that Rebel Diaz’s language use is direct and transparent. Linguistic alterations on the syntactic level are frequently intended to hide, so they are related to certain degrees of dissimulation within discourses. Here, the opposite is evidenced as no information hiding could be detected. In sum, making clear emphasis on the subalterns’ historical memory -core part of the current study- we can confirm that such recovering occurs every time their struggles are vindicated, and the violence they have been victims of is disparaged and contested. This is translated into defying the hegemonic power and, of course, the discourse that helps preserve the sociopolitical established order. Then, the hegemonic discourse can be said to be linguistically challenged in its full expression.
Strategic Functions -Legitimization-delegitimization.
-Resistance, opposition and protest.
-Resistance, opposition and protest.
-Legitimization-delegitimization (In “Revolution has come” only). -Resistance, opposition and protest.
-Coercion (Encouragement, when directed to the subalterns in both “I’m an alien” and “American spring”). -Resistance, opposition and protest.
Fig. 17. Functions of speech acts
The second diagram, Fig. 17., corresponds to the functions of speech acts found in our analyses. Even though this information has already been integrated in Fig. 16., here we present it separately in order to clarify it. This diagram is divided into two columns; the first column displays the types of speech acts; and the second column shows the political discourse strategic functions related to each speech act in particular. As it is possible to observe, assertives and expressives are linked to the functions of legitimization-delegitimization and resistance, opposition and protest. Commisives are connected to coercion and resistance, opposition and protest; however, and contrary to the habitual linkage made between commisive speech acts and the function of dissimulation, it is the strategy of legitimization-delegitimization the one that we identified in “Revolution has come”. Finally, directives are related to coercion and, also, to resistance, opposition and protest, with the difference that coercion in both “I’m an alien” and “American spring” needs to be understood as an encouragement when directed to the subalterns, more than the usual negative coercive strategy linked to directive speech acts.
Institutional violence / control
Legitimize resistance discourse
Delegitimize hegemonic discourse
Resist, oppose and protest
Resist, oppose and protest
Fig. 18. Functions of lexical-semantic fields
The third diagram, Fig.18., shows the political discourse strategic functions related to the two lexico-semantic fields found in our analyses. In the first column, it is possible to observe the lexico-semantic field of legal immigration and its connection to the functions of legitimization and resistance, opposition and protest. The second column presents the link between the field of institutional violence / control and the strategies of delegitimization and resistance, opposition and protest. The same way we have emphasized it previously, here we make a point in the fact that legitimization and delegitimization go hand in hand, inevitably. Therefore, anytime subaltern voices were legitimized within the linguistic texts, the official institutional discourse was delegitimized, and vice versa.
Historical memory recovering
Hegemonic discourse challenging Immigration
“I’m an alien”
-Illegal immigration is exposed
-Curricular suppression of
Mexican American studies is
-The normative concept of illegal
exposed and criticized.
immigration is discredited.
-Police persecution/brutality is
-Preservation of culture of origin.
-Human rights negation is
exposed and condemned.
-Zapatistas; citizens’ rights.
visibilized and refuted.
-Activism and resistance.
uncovered and contested.
-Police persecution/brutality. -Segregation/discrimination. “Craazy”
-Latin American (Mexican) traditions.
-Denial of Latin American ethnic
-Culture as a marketable object is
-Day of the Dead; cultural resistance.
traditions is disproved.
unveiled and rejected.
-Malcom X; activism and resistance;
-Human rights negation is
visibilized and refuted.
uncovered and contested.
-Segregation/discrimination. “Revolution has
-Brown Berets; Mexican-Americans’
- Denial of Mexican-Americans’
-Police persecution/brutality is
self-determination is uncovered
exposed and condemned.
-Collusion between politicians
and multinational corporations is
-Activism and resistance.
exposed and questioned.
-Corporations ruling the globe are
uncovered and criticized.
uncovered and contested.
-Carlos Montes; anti-war and
-Illegal immigration is exposed
-Police persecution/brutality is
immigrants’ rights activism.
unveiled and condemned.
-The normative concept of illegal
-Official institutions behind war
-Activism and resistance; marches
immigration is discredited.
are denounced and blamed.
and picket signs.
-Human rights negation is refuted.
-Economic interests behind war
are denounced and rejected.
-War fabrication is unveiled and
-Military intervention is exposed
uncovered and contested.
Fig. 19. Summary of descriptors in the visual texts analyzed
The fourth diagram, Fig.19, corresponds to the visual summary. In its vertical organization the four visual texts are presented: I’m and alien, “Craazy”, “Revolution has come” and “American Spring”. It should be noted that each text represents the condensation of a number of frames, those that were individually analyzed in the previous section. Then, in the horizontal grouping the Historical Memory Recovering and the Hegemonic Discourse Challenging are the categories contained. Two subcategories of the Hegemonic Discourse Challenging are also included in the horizontal arrangement: Immigration, comprising the elements that defy the hegemonic view of immigrants; and Violence, containing the elements that confront violent institutional practices. In terms of historical memory, we discovered that the four visual texts recover the subalterns’ struggles and their different manifestations of resistance. “I’m an alien” highlights the fight for immigrants’ and indigenous rights, and Zapatistas’ inclusive fight for citizens’ rights. “Crazy” underlines cultural resistance through Latin American traditions and activism in the line of Malcom X. “Revolution has come” emphasizes Chicano activism of the Brown Berets pro-immigrants’ rights. “American spring” stresses anti-war and immigrants’ rights activism through the example of Carlos Montes, and underscores concrete ways of resistance such as picket signs and marches. In addition, the texts recover lacerating aspects of the subalterns’ historical memory that have triggered resistance. To begin with, segregation/discrimination was inserted in the four visual texts: “I’m an alien”, “Craazy”, “Revolution has come” and “American spring”. Police persecution/brutality was inserted in three of them: “I’m an alien”, “Revolution has come” and “American spring”. Political corruption was introduced in two texts: “Revolution has come” and “American spring”. Likewise, corporate control was present in “Revolution has come” and “American spring”. Lastly, war fabrication, military intervention, subjection and genocide were only present in “American spring”. Needless to say, these painful aspects of the subalterns’ historical memory are tightly knotted to systematic hegemonic practices intended to keep the subalterns quieten down and to maintain the dominant groups’ supremacy. Having said that, we are in condition to affirm that all the historical memory aspects recovered through the visual texts constitute a resource to confront the hegemonic discourse. This confrontation was found to be carried out within the texts through two essential lines: immigration and violence. In the first line, illegal immigration and the normative concept of illegal immigration are exposed and contested in both “I’m an alien” and “American spring”. In the same line, the denial of immigrants’ ethnic traditions is exposed and disproved in “Craazy”; and the denial of MexicanAmericans’ self-determination is evidenced and contested in “Revolution has come”. A bit broader, human rights negation is evidenced and refuted in “I’m an alien”, “Craazy” and “American spring”. Concerning the second line, the general aspect of segregation/discrimination is visibilized and condemned in the four texts. Police persecution/brutality is exposed and condemned in “I’m an alien”, “Revolution has come” and “American spring”. Curricular suppression of Mexican-American studies is visibilized and criticized in “I’m an alien”. Culture as a marketable object is uncovered and
rejected in “Craazy”. Collusion between politicians and corporations, as well as corporations ruling the globe are unveiled and questioned in “Revolution has come”. Finally, military intervention, war, institutions and economic interests behind war are denounced and rejected in “American spring”. These two lines of challenge found in the texts articulate a strong incisive opposition to the hegemony. The line of immigration serves the function of uncovering and refuting the antiimmigration hegemonic discourse, whereas the line of violence aids unveiling, rejecting and condemning the concealed violence in such dominant discourse. The fact that anti-immigration and violent practices in its countless shapes are, first of all, exposed and then refuted would suggest that they are usually underhanded and difficult to identify in a naturally concealing hegemonic discourse. Hence, anti-immigration ideas and violence need to be evidenced in order to defy them.
Linguistic and visual modes
Historical memory recovering
Hegemonic discourse challenging Violence
Immigration “I’m an alien”
-Subalterns’ struggles are recovered in
-Illegal immigration is exposed and
-Institutional violence is exposed and
both linguistic and visual texts.
resisted in both linguistic and visual
resisted in both linguistic and visual
legitimizes the fight for immigrants’ and
-Both linguistic and visual texts resist
-The linguistic text focuses on the
the normative concept of illegal
delegitimization of violence and
immigration, immigrants’ and human
control practices such as
-The linguistic text recovers and
-The visual text recovers and uplifts immigrants’, indigenous and citizens’
dictatorship and police
-Both linguistic and visual texts recover
-The visual text centers on the
the subalterns’ suffering.
contestation of cultural suppression, segregation/discrimination and
-The linguistic text recovers
segregation/discrimination, police persecution/brutality and dictatorship.
-The visual text recovers segregation/discrimination, cultural suppression and police persecution.
-Subalterns’ struggles are recovered in
-The hegemonic vision of immigration
-Institutional violence is exposed and
both linguistic and visual texts.
is exposed and resisted in both
resisted in both linguistic and visual
linguistic and visual texts.
legitimizes the fight for immigrants’ and
-The linguistic text resists the denial
-The linguistic text delegitimizes the
of immigrants’ and human rights.
suppression of subaltern voices and
-The linguistic text recovers and
segregation/ discrimination. -The visual text recovers and uplifts
-The visual text resists the denial of
cultural resistance and the fight for
Latin American ethnic traditions and
-The visual text rejects culture as a
the denial of human rights.
marketable object and segregation/discrimination.
-Both linguistic and visual texts recover the subalterns’ suffering: segregation/discrimination.
Revolution has come
-Subalterns’ struggles are recovered in
-Only the visual text resists the
-Institutional violence is exposed and
both linguistic and visual texts.
hegemonic vision of immigration, by
resisted in both linguistic and visual
rejecting the denial of Mexican-
-The linguistic text legitimizes the fight
for workers’ rights.
-The linguistic text contests political corruption and corporate control.
-The visual text recovers and uplifts immigrants’ and workers’ rights.
-The visual text contests police persecution/brutality, political
-Both linguistic and visual texts recover
corruption, corporate control and
the subalterns’ suffering.
-The linguistic text recovers political corruption and corporate control.
-The visual text recovers police persecution/brutality, political corruption, corporate control and segregation/discrimination. “American spring”
-Subalterns’ struggles are recovered in
-Only the visual text resists the
-Institutional violence is exposed and
both linguistic and visual texts.
hegemonic vision of immigration, by
resisted in both linguistic and visual
rejecting the normative concept of
-The linguistic text recovers and
illegal immigration and refuting
legitimizes the fight for workers’ rights.
human rights negation.
-The linguistic text contests police persecution/brutality, war, official
-The visual text recovers and uplifts
institutions and economic interests
the fight for immigrants’ rights, anti-war
behind war, as well as media
activism and different forms of
manipulation of information.
materializing activism and resistance such as picket signs and marches.
-The visual text contests segregation/discrimination, police
-Both linguistic and visual texts recover
the subalterns’ suffering.
intervention, war and institutions and economic interests behind war.
-The linguistic text recovers police persecution/brutality, war, official institutions and economic interests behind war, and media manipulation of information.
-The visual text recovers segregation/discrimination, police persecution/brutality, military intervention, war and institutions and economic interests behind war.
Fig. 20. Summary of descriptors in the linguistic / visual texts analyzed.
The fifth diagram, Fig.20, corresponds to the summary of both linguistic and visual modes. In its vertical organization the four texts are presented: I’m and alien, “Craazy”, “Revolution has come” and “American spring”. In the horizontal arrangement the Historical Memory Recovering and the Hegemonic Discourse Challenging are the categories contained. Immigration and Violence, subcategories of the Hegemonic Discourse Challenging are also included in the horizontal arrangement. We decided to present immigration as a separate line of resistance -although it could have been considered as another facet of the institutional violence- due to its presence as a potent theme within the texts, and also because of its relevance within the Latin American context as a sociopolitical and racial tension that cannot be denied any longer. As is it possible to deduce from the chart, the verbal and non-verbal modes work together in the recovering of the subalterns’ historical memory. In fact, the elements introduced in the linguistic and visual texts point in the same direction, with some almost undetectable differences in some cases. Subalterns’ struggles for their rights, namely, indigenous, immigrants’, workers’, citizens’ or, broadly speaking, human rights, are recovered, legitimized and uplifted. Subalterns’ suffering, as part of their memory, is also intersemiotically recovered in each song: the most frequent aspects are segregation/discrimination and police persecution/brutality. Exactly the same occurs with the challenging of the hegemonic discourse, manifested in its two specific lines: immigration and violence. As a result of the subalterns’ historical memory recovering, illegal immigration and the denial of rights are exposed and contested in both linguistic and visual modes in “I’m an alien” and “Craazy” and in the visual mode in “Revolution has come” and “American spring”. Similarly, discrimination/segregation and police persecution/brutality are uncovered and defied in the four songs, either in the linguistic, visual or in both modes. Other forms of violence such as political corruption and corporate control are unveiled and toughly rejected in both modes in “Revolution has come”. War, institutions and economic interests behind war are exposed and resisted in both modes in “American spring”. Cultural suppression in “I’m an alien” and culture as a marketable object in “Craazy” are uncovered and rejected in their respective visual modes. Even though, initially, “I’m an alien” and “Craazy” seemed to strictly approach immigration; and “Revolution has come” and “American spring” seemed to exclusively tackle violence, it was found that the remaining line of resistance is always present via verbal or non-verbal mode, so meanings in the two lines are produced at all costs. Going into detail, it is possible to contend that the visual texts are more precise and graphic. This way, the visual texts support the linguistic ones, strengthening their already direct and incisive nature. The other way around, the visual texts, in several cases, require the context provided by the linguistic mode in order to make complete sense, either in their local intertextual connections or in their global intersemiotic relations. Consequently, immigration and violence, as lines of discursive resistance, are present in Rebel Diaz’ entire discourse.
Summing up, Rebel Diaz’s political discourse of resistance is a shrewd articulation of the two modes analyzed. In effect, the intersemiotic relations account for a significant discursive whole which allows the recovering of the subalterns’ historical memory, and accentuates the unmasking and confrontation of a hegemonic discourse of anti-immigration and pro-concealed violence characteristics.
CONCLUSIONS AND PROJECTIONS In this final section we expose our conclusions after conducting this study. Additionally, we offer some projections and final remarks. Conclusions From the mere conception of this thesis, we have held that unofficial, uninstitutional discourses need to have a place in academic investigation and production. Dissident voices need to be heard if our final goal is to solve social tensions and promote social justice in our own discursive communities. Here in Chile, Rap is far from being a common subject of analysis. In this respect, paying close attention to Politically Conscious Rap as resistance political discourse meant an effort to open the so-called “third space” (Bhabha, 2013), from where minorities that are constantly abused can express their discontent and demand changes. Through the multimodal critical discourse analysis carried out we demonstrated that Rebel Diaz’s discourse effectively challenges the hegemonic discourse through the recovering of the subalterns’ historical memory. We discovered that the historical memory recovering refers to the past and present, and even, in a few cases, to the future perspective of the collective. Predominantly, subaltern struggles dealing with their rights are uplifted, but this also entails the recovering of all the suffering they have gone through over time. This recovering is patent in the semiotic choices made in both linguistic and visual texts. It is clear in the linguistic choices introduced in the texts in close connection to the strategic functions. For example, through the basic differentiation made between subaltern minorities and dominant political/economic groups by means of the use of pronouns, being the first ones legitimized and vindicated, and the last ones plainly and simply delegitimized. The different speech acts are employed to state that actions from one side of the social spectrum are justified and legitimate -subalterns’ ones- whereas actions executed from the other side are not and, thus, dominant groups are coerced and threatened within the texts in order to stop them. The lexical-semantic fields also help to shape the recovering by legitimizing immigration as a legal phenomenon and by rejecting and disparaging the multiple forms of violence exercised from above. Similarly, the recovering of the subalterns’ historical memory is patent in the visual choices. The intertextual elements inserted in the texts, through fairly graphic illustrations, deal with subaltern struggles that are defended, but also with discriminatory violent hegemonic actions which are denounced and condemned. Finally, the intersemiotic relations showed that the two modes complement each other and strengthen the previous ideas given in detail above, making a coherent recovering whole. As expected, this recovering is not the product of a random situation, but rather a deliberate response to social injustice aimed at challenging the hegemonic discourse. Put it differently, we corroborated that the subalterns’ historical recovering vehicles a counter-hegemonic discursive attack intersemiotically articulated by means of two lines of resistance: immigration and violence. In
the immigration line, the hegemonic vision of immigrants as aliens deprived from human rights is exposed and deeply refuted. As to the line of violence, the hegemonic vision of institutional violence (and control) as a means to achieve political and economic objectives, where making profit is put before human life and people’s welfare, is not only uncovered but also emphatically rebutted. In summary, through the historical memory recovering and, thus, through these two resistance lines, the anti-immigration, pro-concealed violence hegemonic discourse -characteristic of capitalist systems- is put on a tight spot. In this sense, we can affirm that Rebel Diaz’s political discourse of resistance has its own distinctive features. Contrary to the hegemonic discourse which, among other purposes, is aimed at concealing information to maintain the status quo, this is a straight to the veins discourse that does not hide or omit, but rather unveils and loudly protests. Besides, Rebel Diaz’s discourse can be said to be a highly articulated one, not only from an intersemiotic point of view, but also because it is produced from both experiential knowledge and facts (data), based on strong arguments. So, under no circumstances, this resistance political discourse could be considered as a conspiracy. Another relevant aspect, though not central part of this thesis, is that Rebel Diaz’s bilingualism also aided in taking an opposing stance, in this case, against the hegemony of English (Macedo, Dendrinos and Gounari, 2003). The bilingual articulation of the verbal mode suggests a way of uplifting Spanish, not giving English supremacy over their native language. This articulation is relevant as far as it is part of a hegemonic discourse that favors homogenization and suppresses differences. All of this means an added value and leads to the configuration of a unique resistance political discourse that challenges the stablished social order in its own way. Regarding the analytical tools utilized -the Political Discourse Model of Analysis, the Intertextual Relations and the different visual concepts, we evaluate them as useful for the characteristics of the corpus we approached, and, therefore, for the requirements of the MCDA. Moreover, this thesis comes to prove MCDA as a valid theoretical and methodological approach which helped us, as committed investigators, to promote the social justice we stand up for. Having said that, it is possible to contend that politically conscious Rap constitutes a current musical form of social dissent. Without intentions of overgeneralizing, we would dare say that politically conscious Rap can perfectly be called protest rap and, therefore, assimilated as a new manifestation of the protest song. In fact, we strongly believe in the “power of rap as global protest music” (Lusane, 2004: 352). Above all, politically conscious Rap needs to be understood as “opposition, recovering and creation” (Asfura, 2011: 129) (my own translation).
Projections After conducting this inquiry on the insightful resistance political discourse produced by Rap duo Rebel Diaz, and having found and demonstrated that it effectively recovered the subalterns’ historical memory, creating a counter-hegemonic discourse, it seems quite pertinent to outline a few
projections. We already approached some of Rebel Diaz’s lyrics and videos. Going beyond the scope to which the present investigation got, it would be interesting to know how Rebel Diaz’s other contexts of production, distribution and legitimization contribute to the recovering of the subalterns’ memory and to the construction of their resistance political discourse, for instance, their webpage, Facebook and Instagram. Other resources such as their CD’s covers could also be considered as relevant data. Or simply approaching other lyrics and videos could expand and/or deepen the current findings we obtained. In the same way, studying how a political discourse of resistance is constructed by other Chilean or Latin American politically conscious rappers would mean a significant contribution to the field of (Multimodal) Critical Discourse Studies. Without going any further, in the Chilean context, several politically conscious MCs and bands -both female and male ones- whose discourses could be interesting objects of study can be easily find on the internet.
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Appendixes Appendix 1 “I’m an alien” (full lyrics) Let’s go Yo I’m an alien from planet Chile above all every galaxy that would be the illest welcome to my world the people’s universe let’s have a conversation that it’ll make its own search urf mother it feels good to say things that uplift the hood for what is worth we’ve been here for a while follow the mood take a wild for a mile in the shoes of the man that pick you fruit I won’t access the schools I don’t wanna join the troops you came in my country you brought the dictator gave him money and so then paid me later so taste it tomato, tomato, whatever the students, the farmers working together pa lante inmigrante no a la guerra mundo Mapuche siempre for ever Wooo I’m an alien I’m a legal alien Wooo I’m an alien I’m a legal alien Ilegal, I’m not a human being out of FIS so, I what? if I can’t eat, I’mma move til I find my piece of the pie yo dignify life wife and the kids deserve more than this she waitress he great chef money keep on making it bills keep on faking it space ship ain’t awaiting but some highs for the alien out of this world, outcasted, held captive a second class studies the factories close they lose job, their home wall street broke so they blame scape goat José, not Joe, getting stopped by five oh how did they become the border patrol? I don’t know but what I know is I’m here to stay
if they ask me for my papers, I’mma laugh and say Wooo I’m an alien I’m a legal alien Wooo I’m an alien I’m a legal alien
Appendix 2 “Craazy” (full lyrics) I promised I would rap like a superstar rap spit like a monster put myself on the map first rap in English then rap in Spanish qué lo que tu dice boy, I cause damage international worldwide resistance in my lyrics walkin’ down these mean streets to the house of spirits yo represento lo que canto en mis canciones amor, justicia, Hip Hop revoluciones listen here we done preachin’ to the choir we stayed on the block, took the neighborhood higher I guess I just listen to the little voice speakin’ the one that said never deny what you seekin’ that made me a believer que todo es posible mi flow como la lucha siempre sigue they call it ADD when you wildin’ and don't listen they make think you crazy if you question they system Crazy cause I look different than you spark fear out the corner of your peripheral call me crazy like I'm the violent one livin’ in the empire that was born out the gun now that's crazy what I'm supposed to do when they shut the stores down and there ain't no food? now that's crazy like I'm the violent one livin’ in the empire that was born out the gun Crazy is as crazy does attack the industry with a chainsaw for a crazy buzz what's crazy is $2.50 for a fare tryna get iced out but its snowed everywhere, yeah a cold world we livin’ in old girl, pimpin’ kin I'm general Tso minus the boneless chicken and the soul less victims homeless conditions why fight my brother? when I can beat the system I write 16's in 16 minutes that's what it is but I know what it isn't crazy the words Garvey spoke the same slang as Malcolm man, it's too many quotes the wolf lickin’ the blade
thinkin’ it’s kool-aid blood thirsty turnin’ ourselves into slaves what’s crazy is you in a gang but won't do a god-damned thang when the police bang on the corners we learn how to hang with no more nooses just mad trees the same old thang what's crazy's how they control our brain with these demonic songs that the radio play you a revolutionary? yeah, it's all good but they don't know you in the hood what's good? that's crazy and I don't got no time to look it crazy my straight jacket on crooked Now that's crazy cause I look different than you spark fear out the corner of your peripheral call me crazy like I'm the violent one livin’ in the empire that was born out the gun now that's crazy what I'm supposed to do when they shut the stores down and there ain't no food? now that's crazy like I'm the violent one livin’ in the empire that was born out the gun Like I lost my marbles like all I wanna do is criticize and argue like my screws loose cause I say what I want to shit, say what I got to es por eso que canto queremos un cambio en eso andamos yo creo caminos no creo en obstáculos you say I'm loco and need a doctor I say let’s be realistic and do the impossible check it out I'm on a higher plane some say it ain’t sane I say it’s okay let your mind sway ride the wave better that than on land and stuck in one place they want you sedated, drugged and medicated more paper in the pockets of the drug fabricators all indicators show our society's sick diseased by greed that's the diagnosis Now that’s crazy cause I look different than you spark fear out the corner of your peripheral
call me crazy like I'm the violent one livin’ in the empire that was born out the gun now that's crazy what I'm supposed to do when they shut the stores down and there ain't no food? now that's crazy like I'm the violent one livin’ in the empire that was born out the gun
Appendix 3 “Revolution has come” (full lyrics) Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution has come Time to pick up the gun Revolution Revolution Time to pick up the gun The unemployed graduate the teachers ain't having it
cameras everywhere the kids is gangbangin’ this ain’t a war on drugs it’s a war on the ’hood the Democrats and Republicans both up to no good they both got in bed with the multinacionales
they sendin’ us to prison instead of sendin’ us to college the janitor’s mop can’t clean the situation
when the dictator of a nation is called a corporation
swear to God on my mama never supported Obama I’m a Chicago Riot Starter like a Haymarket Martyr I’d rather focus on the streets organizing the tribes
go against the grain and know that I tried
I’m not into working backwards I’m talkin’ direct action
I’m talkin’ fighting for freedom
for the poor and working classes
I won’t work for reform this is for my unborn I'm putting on a ski mask and this weapon is drawn Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution has come Time to pick up the gun Revolution Revolution Time to pick up the gun Muchas pistolas we quick reach for the holster this is the culture of violence in which I've grown up they say grow up, make a livin’ in these miserable conditions schools look more like prisons and they shuttin’ down the clinics if employment ain’t an option you ain’t got shit what you do? where you go if you foreclosed and your payment past due? ask you, is it worth it?
the Earth on its last pulses oil and blood thirsty they rapin’ the resources days is getting darker but it’s light that I offer no divide and conquer I'm talkin’ people power hours tickin’ hurry, hurry get your ticket for the future identify the problems and move on to the solutions you should be involved build show love that's step number one instead of shootin’ them guns run copper we united no more internal fightin’ might just run up on the precinct no justice, no peace this is Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution has come Time to pick up the gun Revolution Revolution Time to pick up the gun
Appendix 4 “American spring” (full lyrics) All eyes on the gold all eyes on the gold Peace, paz, salaam, wherever you’re from let me be the first to extend the warm welcome to the old and the young the students, the homies, the brothers, the workers, the mothers make your mark get involved Organized hit the streets march, protest, sing for a new beginning it’s the American Spring be prepared, never scared the end ain’t near nah, we just getting started Organized hit the streets march, protest, sing for a new beginning it’s the American Spring be prepared, never scared the end ain’t near nah, we just getting started I’ve been in Athena’s Greece when they clash with police and Germany with the Antifascist hitting the streets worldwide the times turning fast burning first these workers in Cabo next thing we marching on Chicago NATO, the hired gun of banks running the G8 they can’t hide at Camp David but they inject, they in chains war in the name of humane intervention inventive rebellions hidden intentions millions invested in arms they claim we not getting involved but we already are disaster warmakers is after all the last remaining natural assets oil under the sand in Iran it’s gonna be the same excuse propaganda on the news save the world from the nukes it’s gonna be a hot summer get your mother get your young make your mark get the block get involved Organized hit the streets march, protest, sing for a new beginning it’s the American Spring be prepared never scared the end ain’t near nah, we just getting started Organized hit the streets march, protest, sing
for a new beginning it’s the American Spring be prepared never scared the end ain’t near nah, we just getting started All eyes on me like my song from 2 Pac government want me to stop I’m on the news, watch cameras every two blocks they pulling up like tube socks watch, watch, watch I incite I ignite I view the world to the eyes of the workers’ fight fight the power take flight I want the whole damn pie not a little bite that make us work just about we barely get by say goodbye to your rights say hello to the fight Chicago round it I can’t wait to arrive the working class city or May First Starter the eight-hour day the Haymarket Martyrs that’s why I fight the power like the PE, so just to prove the Fox News they got the whole thing wrong so I’m screaming Intifada at an immigrant redada the banks got bailed out but the hood ain’t getting nada Organized hit the streets march, protest, sing for a new beginning it’s the American Spring be prepared never scared the end ain’t near nah, we just getting started Organized hit the streets March, protest, sing For a new beginning It’s the American Spring Be prepared Never scared The end ain’t near Nah, we just getting started