Dienstag, 15. Mai 2018, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal

Afrika Kolloquium

Festive traditions and gender relations in Venezuela

by Nadia Mosquera Muriel, International Development, University of Sussex

Seminarraum 3, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5, 1090 Wien


The realities of Afro-Latina women have long been made invisible by western understandings of feminism. Yet, grappling with interlocking injustices such as racial discrimination, gendered domination and economic marginalisation requires us to acknowledge the role of slavery in shaping intersections of race, class, and gender for this group. In Venezuela, women tilt these forms of injustices using popular culture, although there is a limited scholarship that explores how Afro-Latina women make use of popular culture to challenge intersectional oppression. I found in a black rural village in Venezuela, the number of Afro-descendant women who took part in political grassroots organisations was low, yet the degree to which they participated in spontaneous forms of collective action was high. I argue that these performances involve gender resistance. I present ethnographic evidence of a festive performance called Fool's Day (Dia de los Inocentes) which is a celebration whereby gender roles are switched for a day. The satiric display involves men dressing up as women or staying at home while women dress up as men. I suggest, this is evidence of the use of popular culture to contest normative gendered relationships. By being attentive to gendered roles in festive traditions, we can understand that popular culture is a space to negotiate intersectional inequalities.


Nadia Mosquera Muriel is a Ph.D. candidate in International Development at the University of Sussex. She has experience as a consultant on foreign policy issues within the Venezuelan public sector. Her current research interests centre on the role of popular culture to develop of a black consciousness in Venezuela.

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Institut für Afrikawissenschaften


Ulrike Auer
Institut für Afrikawissenschaften