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AXEL PHILIPPS investigates modes of visual protest. In this video, he describes his research of defacements of election posters on the streets. In order to determine the characteristics of these defacements, his research team used so-called ‘street reading’. They focused on defaced election posters on the main streets of Leipzig, Germany. Comparing their material to theoretical concepts drawn from the literature on the topic, they discovered that, mostly, the defacements are not very subtle but purely destructive – in contrast to the examples usually discussed in scholarly writing. Their most important finding was that these defacements often function as a channel for people’s sentiments that are not evident in the media or political discourse.


Axel Philipps is affiliated, as senior researcher, with the Institute of Sociology at Leibniz University Hannover. Some of his previous academic positions include that of interim associate professor at Siegen University and at Leibniz University. Among his research interests are the study of protests as well as text and image interpretation.


University of Hanover (Leibniz Universität Hannover)

In 1831, founded by the scholar Karl Karmarsch, the “Higher Trade School of Hannover” started with only 64 students. Today there are more than 25,000 students in the natural sciences and engineering, the humanities and social sciences as well as in law and economics. In the future, too, studying, teaching and research are to be enjoyable, and therefore one of the declared goals of Leibniz Universität Hannover is to continually improve the quality of teaching and research. ( Source )
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Original publication

Defaced Election Posters: Between Culture Jamming and Moral Outrage. A Case Study

Philipps Axel, Schölzel Hagen and Richter Ralph
Communication, Politics & Culture
Published in 2016

Defacing Election Posters: A Form of Political Culture Jamming?

Philipps Axel
Popular Communication
Published in 2015

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