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By Gerard Aching

Does the masks display greater than it conceals? What, this e-book asks, turns into noticeable and invisible within the protecting practiced in Caribbean cultures-not basically within the favourite milieu of the carnival yet in political language, social behavior, and cultural expressions that mimic, misrepresent, and deceive? concentrating on protecting as a socially major perform in Caribbean cultures, Gerard Aching's research articulates protecting, mimicry, and misrecognition as a way of describing and interrogating techniques of visibility and invisibility in Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, and past.

Masking and tool makes use of ethnographic fieldwork, psychoanalysis, and shut literary readings to envision encounters among cultural insiders as those locals masks themselves and each other both to counter the social invisibility imposed on them or to take care of their socioeconomic privileges. Aching exposes the ways that concepts of overlaying and mimicry, as soon as hired to barter subjectivities inside colonial regime, were appropriated for country reasons and became, with the arriving of self-government within the islands, the potential during which yes privileged locals make a express of nationwide and cultural solidarity whilst they have interaction within the privatization of pop culture and its public performances.

Gerard Aching is affiliate professor within the division of Spanish and Portuguese at long island college.

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Additional resources for Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean

Example text

Although the masking practices that I described earlier took place in Caribbean carnivals during the nineteenth century, and Césaire and Fanon emblematized their respective forms of négritude in scenes that occurred in urban French and French Caribbean societies during the twentieth, these strategies are alike in that they claim public space for the presence of 26 Introduction blacks both as part of a contemporary occidental reality and as a historical fact of modernity. It is worth recalling, as C.

In an essay first published in 1982, Michel Pêcheux argues that “reproduction” and “transformation” do not occur in separate or divided places (1994, 141–42) because what are really sought in the struggle to transform the relations of production are “new relationships of unevenness-subordination” (emphasis in original; 144). Positing mimicry as a social practice through which such new relationships become possible allows for the analyses of internal forces of resistance and opposition. These forces can but should not necessarily transcend their context in order to be effective.

In fact, because it takes place during normal, daily life in a modern urban center, the scene is not even extraordinary. However, the grotesque factor in this description is not so much the essentializing way in which a reified poverty designs the passenger’s black physiognomy; it is more clearly the conspicuous manner in which this large, impoverished black man somatically attempts to retreat from a collective gaze that objectifies him in this public space. Hence, this scene is dramatically juxtaposed—since it represents the other pole of a continuum of affirmative identity practices—to those occasions when Day’s, Hearn’s, and Goodman’s masked subjects publicly asserted and intentionally exaggerated their blackness during carnival’s brief period of social license.

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