Find that thing that weighs more than drugs

YouTube as logotherapeutic placemaking for academic disruption and authentic expression


  • Amiena Peck University of the Western Cape



linguistic landscape, YouTube, placemaking, gender, authenticity, Cape Town, drug abuse


Creating a space for bodies to count as corporeal linguistic landscapes or ‘skinscapes’ is an avenue that speaks to the growing interest of bodies-in-place and placemaking in the physical landscape. In this essay, I extend skinscapes and placemaking to that of the digital space, specifically Amiena Inspired, my YouTube channel. A frank autoethnography detailing my formative drug abuse, postnatal depression and logotherapeutic escape from the bounds of religion, motherhood and womanhood in academia serves as a disruptive narrative to the hegemonic hypermasculine prisoner narrative currently proliferated. I argue that I traded my social status and expectations of a ‘good woman/mother/Muslim/academic/wife’ for authenticity-in-place, with my gender serving as marked materiality of the growing purview of drug abuse in Cape Town.

Author Biography

Amiena Peck, University of the Western Cape

Amiena Peck is Senior Lecturer in the Linguistics Department at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town. She specialises in linguistic landscape studies and has brought the body into sharp focus through articles such as ‘Skinscapes’ (with Christopher Stroud, 2015), published in the inaugural issue of the journal Linguistic Landscape, and the coedited collection Making Sense of People and Place in Linguistic Landscapes (with Christopher Stroud and Quentin Williams, Bloomsbury Press, 2018). Moreover, she has coauthored a special issue of the journal Sociolinguistic Studies entitled ‘Visceral landscapes’ (2019).


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How to Cite

Peck, A. . (2021). Find that thing that weighs more than drugs: YouTube as logotherapeutic placemaking for academic disruption and authentic expression. Gender and Language, 15(4), 603–610.



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