Carnival: Resistance Is the Secret of Joy

Notes from Nowhere Collective
http://www.narconews.com/Issue34/article1097.html

Publisher:  Verso
Year Published:  2003  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX7877

Reinventing tactics of resistance has become a central preoccupation for the movement of movements. How do we make rebellion enjoyable, effective, and irresistible? Who wants the tedium of traditional demonstrations and protests - the ritual marches from point A to B, the permits and police escorts, the staged acts of civil disobedience, the verbose rallies and dull speeches by leaders?

Abstract: 
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Excerpt:

Reinventing tactics of resistance has become a central preoccupation for the movement of movements. How do we make rebellion enjoyable, effective, and irresistible? Who wants the tedium of traditional demonstrations and protests – the ritual marches from point A to B, the permits and police escorts, the staged acts of civil disobedience, the verbose rallies and dull speeches by leaders? Instead, why not use a form of rebellion that embody the movements’ principles of diversity, creativity, decentralization, horizontally, and direct action? These principles can be found at the heart of a ancient form of cultural expression – the carnival.

Throughout history carnival has been a time for inverting the social order, where the village fool dresses as the king and the king waits on the pauper, where men and women wear each others’ clothing and perform each others’ roles. This inversion exposes the power structures and illuminates the processes of maintaining hierarchies; seen from a new angle, the foundations of authority are shaken up and flipped around. The unpredictability of carnival with its total subservience to spontaneity, where any individual can shape her environment and transform herself into another being for an hour or a day, ruptures what we perceive to be reality. It creates a new world by subverting all stereotypes, daring imaginations to expand their limits, turning the present world upside down, if only for a moment.

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