Can the subaltern write? – A photo study of elegies on commercial van sunshields


Company property is defaced and its function altered, we might say re-appropriated (Marx, 1868).

We would like to thank SOASS for their funding support of this study into the expression of largely cis-male gendered post-colonial subjects employed in the retail delivery sector. This is the third part in a series of explorations (AngryWorkers, 2019). [1] We introduce the notion of ‘scribbles’ as expressions of the subaltern, which anthropologists before us have detected on cave walls, public latrines and betting forms. The intimacy of a van cabin, juxtaposed by the panopticon of the dash-board camera forces the subaltern into reflexive and quasi instinctive ‘scribbles’ (AngryWorkers, 2020).



Our initial findings demonstrate that many ‘scribbles’ express views of a moral economy (Thompson, 1973) and a touching masculine vulnerability… 

2complaint0…with a tendency towards crudeness.


The subjects engage in knowledge sharing of the local market rate, superceding their initial emotionality.


A few subjects make subversive use of corporate information requiring extensive grammatical structures.


True dialoges start to emerge.


Expanding into multiple conversations.

4strike?The undercurrent and informal form of communication raises the issue of agency!


Here the subaltern leave the realm of pure economics behind and penetrate the world of culture!


…navigating its divisive complexity.


A recurring theme of the disempowered is the multilayered emotional response towards authority and superiority.


Particular individuals are singled out and revenge and advertisement are pooled into a common knowledge of ‘shame’.


Reiteration and overdetermining reenforcement is one characteristic of subaltern ‘scribbles’ (AngryWorkers, 2020).


Another example, this time gendered.


And using phalic symbolism in addition to descriptive ascriptions.  


The increasing size of the ‘scribbles’ of the respective managerial superior’s name indicates urgency and a subtext (e.g. “in case you daft cunt still not getting it”).


Here the subaltern draws as parallel between ‘scribbles’ and outcome, providing both information and sense of satisfaction.


The subject intelligently inverts meaning, creating a paradox.


The authorities react to the sub-textual class war by ordering censorship.


But the subaltern have the last word, distilling phrases to essential meaning.

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