The UC Berkeley Folklore Roundtable presents:
THE PAST OF LEAST RESISTANCE:
CANBOULAY, CAZABON AND REMEMBERING
IN TRINIDAD CARNIVAL
Thursday November 9, 2017
128 Morrison Hall (between Kroeber and the faculty glade)
Professor Philip W. Scher, Divisional Dean of Social Sciences, University of Oregon
What are the unspoken aspirations of the historical reenactment? What are the aims of these performances? This Berkeley Folklore Roundtable talk explores the yearly reenactment of the Canboulay Riots of 1881 as well as a recent carnival band inspired by the colonial paintings of a celebrated Trinidadian artist of the early 19th century, Michel-Jean Cazabon. The carnival costumes caused public outcry as they depicted masters and slaves from the pre-emancipation period. Scher compares these examples as a meditation on the role of public historical narratives and contested memory in the ongoing construction of national identity in Trinidad.
Dr. Philip Scher is Divisional Dean of Social Sciences and former director of the Folklore Program at the University of Oregon. His research interests include images of Europeans by non-Western artists during the Age of Exploration 1400-1830, the politics of religious identity within the Orisha community of practitioners, and UNESCO World Heritage sites in Barbados.