Conveners: Angela Marino, Rachel Bowditch, and Paolo Vignolo


Festive practices animate all kinds of political protest and social movements. Likewise, the sphere of politics and social activism circles directly through large scale, open air cultural performances such as danzas, street performance, popular fiesta, carnival, and processions.

Participants will explore together the ways festive cultural performances manifest in social movements and mobilizations. A common thread connects political unrest and festive expressions from carnivalesque performance from the 16th century and recent students’ protests in Latin America, the Mask Ban of 1845 and Occupy Wall Street, Renaissance festivals and the anthropophagic Manifesto of the Brasilian avant garde, just to name a few. We are interested in what is made visible or evident in fiesta politics, and in particular the various kinds of mobilizations and migrations that are inscribed in these performances.

We want to focus particularly on the way festive practices move. Touring shows, processions, and parades are just some ways fiestas circulate. In other ways, entire cultural performance traditions follow community migrations, shift location or adopt new practices from afar. In local, regional and global contexts, these geographical moves, diasporas, transfers, or 'importations' find new homes and communities, generating and recording a fully different kind of “manifest destiny.” Festivals and ritual performance tell the stories of their migrations and otherwise transcribe the political influences and mobilizations that created them.


Each participant will submit a paper or a proposal of performance action that addresses the issue of the work group. The participants will read each other’s papers/proposals before the Encuentro. Each session will be dedicated to 2-3 papers or performance actions. Each presentation will last maximum 10 minutes, in order to allow time for a collective discussion. By placing in conversation with one another a variety of diverse fields and sites of practice, we hope to call forth parallels, contradictions, emerging paradigms, and new collaborative possibilities within the trans-disciplinary discourse of the festival. During the last session we will discuss possible future products coming out of the collective work (a book, a website, a performance…)


A 200 word abstract about the paper/article/performance action you plan to submit, addressing how your work fits into the theme of the work group. Papers and proposals should be between 6000-9000 words. Materials should be uploaded via the online application form before October 9th, 2013.

The work group will select up to 15 people.

Convener Biographies:

Angela Marino is Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley. Her work focuses on fiesta and carnival, U.S. Latina/o and Latin American plays, politics, history, and performance. She is co-editor of Festive Devils in the Americas in Richard Schechner’s Enactments Series (Seagull Press, forthcoming), and is published in Latin American Theater Review (2008), Estreno (2008), and Dialectical Anthropology (2011). Marino is currently writing a book on populism and performance in Venezuela.

Rachel Bowditch, MA/PhD is a theatre director, performance studies scholar, and an Associate Professor in the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Her book, On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man was published as part of the Enactments Series (Seagull Press/University of Chicago Press). From 2009-2010, she was an Institute for Humanities Research Fellow at Arizona State University to develop her second book Festive Bodies: Performing Utopia and Resistance in the Americas, co-edited with PeggeVissicaro (Under contract with Seagull Press/University of Chicago Press). She has presented her scholarship at conferences in the U.S., Singapore, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, and London. For more information her scholarship and artist work, visit:

Paolo Vignolo (PhD in History at the E.H.E.E.S of Paris) is Associate Professor at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá. His research interests deal with: 1) Play and festive performance 2) Public use of history, collective memory and cultural heritage 3) Cultural Citizenship, Cultural Agents and Cultural Rights. Among his publications ( Festive devils of the Americas (coeditor with Ángela Marino and Milla Riggio), Seagull-Chicago University Press (forthcoming); Tierra Firme. El Darién en el imaginario de los conquistadores (coeditor with Virgilio Becerra), UNAL-ICANH, 2011; Ciudadanías en escena. Performance y derechos culturales en Colombia (editor), UNAL, Bogotá, 2009; Cannibali, giganti e selvaggi. Creature mostruose del Nuovo Mondo, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2009.

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