Accepted paper:

The politics of Carnival


Anita Sujoldžić (Institute for Anthropological Research)

Paper abstract:

Carnivals are a type of events using highly symbolic and inventive modes of expression that offer an opportunity to study social representation through a political perspective. They have become increasingly popular in post-socialist Croatia, as one of major forms of substitution for not only the broken forms of community life that had existed before the regime change but also for the loss of self-esteem grounded in the membership of communities socialist working-class identity that collapsed with the shift to capitalist free market structures, thus eventually operating as the public platform for the re-creation of post-socialist local identity. This paper approaches carnival practices in Croatia analytically as an occasion when social representations of society and power can be shown with all their complexity and contradictions. It particularly focuses on the processes of othering disclosed behind the masks.

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The other within the other: creative alternatives in the Balkans and post communist Europe