The question of cultural identity in colonial and post-colonial settings has been amply researched and debated by major academic figures such as Bhabha, Spivak, Fanon, Said, and Stuart Hall. If a lot of attention has been placed on the unfortunate and at time criminal sequels of colonial decolonise his or her imagination arguably have remained in the shadow of done by the colonial powers is yet but another form of oppression, ignoring the voice of the other in the academic debate on Identity. Aiming to address this issue, this conference is therefore the occasion to highlight
and discuss the recent work of scholars looking at the agency of the
minority engaging in the identity debate through performative practices.
Performance has traditionally been used in the social sciences to reflect upon two worlds: the world of symbolic and aesthetic activities, and another world that is more related to theories of practice (Bourdieu 2000,de Certeau 1988) and the idea that human expressivity (i.e. voice, gesture,appearance) is affected when human beings come into contact with one another, reflecting the daily dynamics of interactions and dialogue between individuals and the others (Goffman 1959). Could thinking of cultural
performance as sites of mediation through interconnectedness and dialogue(Guss 2000), help one identify transformative practices present in post-colonial milieux? What interpretative frameworks will help identify and make sense of the socio-cultural and political processes and connections taking place through performance?
Academic articles and performances will be welcome. Suggested panels and themes:
1. Tradition, between facts and memory:
• Traditions and re-invented traditions.
• On costumes, rituals, dance, music and/or culinary skills.
• Orality and transcribing memory.
• The importance of memory (re)creation.
• Relationship between cultural gatekeepers and performers.
• Migrants and the (re)creation of tradition.
2. Memory, not history:
• On legitimising one’s own memory.
• On the importance of creativity.
• The question of post-memory.
• Being the voice of ancestors.
• Decolonising one’s imagination.
• On the cultural politics of self-representation: i.e. performing indigeneity, negritude, Rastafari.
3. Transformative practices:
• Is transformation contingent on physical multicultural existence? Migration and change.
• Diversity v mono-culturalism.
• What are the parameters for transformation?
• The place of emotions in transformative practices.
• The concept of “Negrescence”.
• Can representation engage in the Politics of Recognition – being equal not the same (Taylor 1992)?
4. The body… between discourses of self and otherness.
• On ‘traditional’ dances.
• New ‘national’ dances: i.e. Jump Jamaica, choreographing life.
• Dress and impress: socio-economic importance of “swag”.
• ‘Traditional’ costumes – old and new patterns.
5. Internet and the concept of performativity:
• Content sharing websites as a medium for cultural awareness.
• The importance of a digital presence. How do people connect online to tell their
• Is Internet a human right?
• The tragedy of being disconnected.
6. Performing gender:
• Dealing with the “ violence” of respectability.
• Transcending gender stereotypes.
• Understanding domestic violence.
• The importance of art in the male/female dialogue.
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