Semiocide: An introduction to semiotics of destruction of the meaningful

  • Mehmet Emir Uslu Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu
Keywords: semiocide, memory, conflict, forgetting, cultural studies, cultural destruction


The aim of this article is to expand on the concept of semiocide which, in broad terms, is the destruction of signs and semiosis. Taking its point of departure from Ivar Puura’s article on the concept, this essay attempts to find conceptual parallels and historical examples of the term, expanding its range through a critique of its original conception. Departing from the initial conservatism of Puura’s definition, the article will argue for a more diverse understanding of the term, suggesting a view that positions semiocide not just as a descriptor for lamentable losses, but also as a potential avenue for emancipatory praxis, whereby established, hegemonic and oppressive meanings can be undermined and new possibilities of representation and identity explored.


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How to Cite
Uslu, M. E. (2020). Semiocide: An introduction to semiotics of destruction of the meaningful. Sign Systems Studies, 48(2-4), 224-245.