Literature Program

Friday, November 22 at 4:00 p.m.

UB Humanities Institute & Hallwalls present

Scholars@Hallwalls: Christian Flaugh

"Global Returns and Festive Publics: Côte d'Ivoire's Le Popo Carnaval as Practice of Revolting Subjects"

Join us at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center for our ninth year of Faculty Fellows talks! This lecture series brings current UB humanities research out into the community - with complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres. Free and open to the public.

Carnival festivals, as in Cayenne, Port-au-Prince, Port of Spain, and Toronto, are known for black performance modes that gather and engage diverse publics. Artists, entrepreneurs, and spectators celebrate as they critique presumably American practices of revolting subjects, or the aesthetic and ethical intertwining of revulsion and revolt. Their publics expect grotesque, erotic, abject, and festive assemblages that follow as they disrupt Carnival's paths to "getting your global diversity on."

But what happens when Carnival practices, long informed by transatlantic black migrations, "return" to Africa, the continent of festivals? How and why might African artists, entrepreneurs, and spectators—long attuned to celebrations and critiques of global worldviews—re-assemble such performance modes for their publics? This talk points to answers that surface in Côte d'Ivoire's rebranded New Yam Festival, le Popo Carnaval, and in particular its ritual parading, vestiary, and "homecoming" traditions, overlapped with masquerading, town-to-town Carnival parties.