The Art of Resistance: Sacred Visual Creations of New Orleans' African American Mardi Gras Maskers
A presentation from 2023–2024 Lillian Gollay Knafel Fellow Kim Vaz-Deville
At Radcliffe, Vaz-Deville is writing “The Art of Resistance.” On Mardi Gras, African American maskers adorn themselves with hand-sewn regalia showcasing themes of slavery, segregation, strategies of resistance, and the COVID crisis. Over the past 60 years, with controversy, some began to characterize their practices as having an overt spiritual dimension. Her book draws on a decade of ethnographic and participant observation and chronicles these expansions to traditional Black masking subject matter designed to produce awareness among revelers of their community’s African and Afro-Caribbean heritage and shared global struggles.
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