‘We can’t just put any belly-dancer into the program’: Cultural Activism as Boundary Work.
|Druh||Další prezentace na konferencích|
|Popis||Festivals are an increasingly more popular form of contemporary cultural activism. Countering prejudice through arts, using culture as a tool of communication, and creating an opportunity for marginalised groups to participate in public life, they represent a specific and novel means of civic activism. In this paper, I introduce a case study of the multicultural festival [fjúžn], aiming to enhance the public visibility of ‘new minorities’ and bring attention to the ethnic and cultural diversity in the Central-European city of Bratislava, Slovakia. Building on a festival ethnography and drawing on the perspective of boundary work (Jaworsky 2016), I show how the festival organisers work towards crossing and blurring symbolic boundaries in society. I offer a close interpretive reading of their attempts at capturing public places and cultivating a diverse language-scape, while showing how they simultaneously maintain, solidify, or even inscribe new boundaries. I conclude by raising critical points about the potential of activist cultural festivals to shift symbolic boundaries in the long run and serve as tools of social inclusion.|