Signs of the Landscape: Art as Protest, Protest as Art

Authors: Jeffrey Hamerlinck*, University of Wyoming, Claudia Baldwin, University of the Sunshine Coast
Topics: Landscape, Cultural Geography, Planning Geography
Keywords: protest signage, community activism, landscape, Australia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Senate Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper explores the locally place-based origins and impacts of protest signs as one vehicle for community activism in response to contentious, large-scale land use development. Transient signage has been heavily utilized in the ongoing local resident protest of a proposed beachfront high rise residential development in the community of Yaroomba, on the Sunshine Coast of South-East Queensland, Australia. The sign messaging is demonstrative of a variety of definable landscape types – physical/environmental, cultural, legal, and economic. The effectiveness of the signage was found to lie not only in their place-based connection, but also in their aesthetic appeal and their strategic installation. The significance of this combination of traits is reflected in citizen responses to these artifacts and the largely favorable way in which they are viewed as accurate representations of community values.

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