Contemporary appropriations of folk culture

Sónia Vespeira de Almeida (CRIA - FCSH - Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Vera Marques Alves (Unversidade de Coimbra)
Tower B, Piso 3, Room T16
Session slots:

Short abstract:

In this panel we appeal to the discussion about the contemporary appropriations and representations of folk culture, focusing on its current political symbolic uses. We want to explore the appropriation strategies taken by different agents in several empirical contexts.

Long abstract:

In this panel we want to discuss the contemporary appropriations and representations of folk culture. After two decades dominated by the ‘invention of tradition’ concept, social sciences are now more interested in the analysis of the creativity and heterogeneity that pervades the demotic manifestations, abandoning the rigid frontiers between authentic and fake, traditional and modern, and rural and urban. Although questioning the relevance of notions such as folk culture or folk art, anthropology is still focusing on its current political and symbolic uses. In this context, several investigations turn to the multiple ways in which appropriations and re-creation of traditions are taking place, involving a variety of dynamics and agents (intellectuals, activists, entrepreneurs, public entities, craftsmen, consumers, tourists and local communities). This panel aims to explore this subject from the perspective of the more extended debates that characterize contemporary anthropology – globalization, construction of identities, uses of authenticity, consumption, artistic practices, hybridism, objectification and commoditization of culture and ‘cultural copyright’. We also welcome papers that think about the appropriations of folk culture and folk art through a framework of analysis that only apparently are distant from this theme: the study of primitivism movements and of the multiple meanings of ethnic art in modern society. Please include in your abstract information about the theoretical framework of the research.