Carnival post-phenomenology: mind the hump


  • Nicolas Salazar-Sutil Goldsmiths College, University of London



The following article is an autoethnographic reading of carnival as an inter-cultural and interpersonal event, and one that does not always profit from anthropological models such as inversion or safety-valve theories. The radical proximity of carnival experience destroys the objectivity of the event and makes it meaningful mainly as a lived-in moment. The following is an account of an individual experience that defines the significance of carnival as a form of kinesis, the shaking up of the static ethnographic "I"; an (un)expected humping. My case-study is the Pyrenean carnival of Bielsa in Spain, and my theoretical ideonauts are Mikhail Bakhtin and Judith Butler. The analysis of their concepts of dialogism and performativity lead to a series of complex anthropological questions regarding the meaning and doing of social and cultural events.

Author Biography

Nicolas Salazar-Sutil, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Nicolas Salazar Sutil is currently finishing his PhD at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, London. He trained as an actor at Drama Centre London and completed an MA-Res in Theatre and Drama at Royal Holloway, which dealt with the subject of performativity and carnival in the Pyrenees. His present research deals with performativity in numerical discourse and the effects of numerical measurement on cultural practices and identity, particularly in relation to corporate football and politics. He lives in London with his wife and child. He can be contacted at cup03ns(AT) here or nicolas_salazar(AT)