Who Holds the Power When the Demons Are Loose? : The Carnival of Riosucio as a Scenario of Peace
Blanco Rengifo, Laura (2021)
Blanco Rengifo, Laura
Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunta - Faculty of Social Sciences
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The study of Carnivals has shown the complexity of their performance, depending on the context and time, that this cultural practice faces in different parts of the world. To talk about the enactment of carnivals in a period of time when social contact is forbidden and public spaces abandoned raises the question of whether the study of this practice is a matter of studying the past or reinventing the present. Taking as the starting point the premise that cultural manifestations such as carnivals cannot disappear as they are in the soul of a society, this thesis aims to explain how a particular carnival, the Carnival of Riosucio in Colombia, presents possibilities of peace practices in terms of the theory of Agonistic and Corporeal Peace. By means of audio-visual material from the decades of the 1980’s to the 2010’s, and from interviews made by the Carnival Corporation where previous carnival participants are reflecting on the 2021 carnival cancelled due to the Coronavirus and passed experiences, this thesis analyses how the Carnival of Riosucio has been represented, and how the experiences of the people that are filmed can be related to practices of agonistic and corporeal peace. The possibility to present counter-hegemonic acts inside a Carnival that disestablishes and invites reflections as to who are those who govern and why, as well as the possibility to share with dances, lyrics, and protests with persons that otherwise would never be together, shows how this carnival is a tool for peace building in an agonistic and corporeal perspective and why its enactment is of value. The conclusion of this thesis exposes why, this particular case is relevant for the social fabric as the Carnival of Riosucio is interpreted from the data as a setting that channels encounters with the otherness that facilitates a reconfiguration of identities and a recognition of the unfixity of structures with the possibility to challenge and transform them, all of it while acknowledging that the Carnival of Riosucio is not an isolated event, but a construction from the ordinary, that exposes the interrelation in its construction and enactment between different actors and spaces.