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The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

Night Becomes Day: Carnival, Contested Spaces, and the Black Movement in Bahia

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Abstract

This article details the cultural politics surrounding carnival in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, between 1995 and 1999, including the experiences and meanings of carnival, the struggle over Afro-Brazilian culture, and wealth generated from carnival. The black movement utilizes carnival as a highly visible site of contestation and protest against racism in Brazil. However, the movement simultaneously struggles with issues of co-optation, especially by African carnival groups, demonstrating the tensions in the interrelationship between culture and politics. Black movement activists’ stories and experiences reveal the micropolitics of the movement and individuals engaged in politics and identity.

Resumén

O presente artigo circunstanciam a política cultural que cerca carnaval em Salvador, Bahia Brasil, entre 1995–99, incluindo as experiências e significados do carnaval, a luta sobre a cultura afro-brasileira e a riqueza gerada a partir carnaval. O movimento negro utiliza carnaval como uma grande site de contestação e protesto contra o racismo no Brasil. No entanto, o movimento luta com questões de equivoco, especialmente por parte dos blocos afros, mostrando as tensões na interrelação entre cultura e política. As historias e experiências do militantes do movimento negro mostra a micro-política do movimento e as indivíduos envolvidos em política e identidade.

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