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Building on the study of two associations defending “negro-Martiniquan” dance and music –Tanbô Bô Kannal (TBK) and Mi Mès Manmay Matinik (AM4)– this article studies how cultural practices are mobilised for protest purposes. Based on an ethnographic study carried out in Martinique from 2011 to 2018 and an interpretative framework which combines a “neo-gramscian” analyses of hegemony with a more classical approach to social movements, the objective is to underline the uniqueness of cultural movements, by paying special attention to the aesthetic capacities of “subalterns” and the practical forms of their cultural production. Two strategies are identified. First, the affirmation of an irreducible way of life in the public space, through the establishment of contentious repertoires and cultural awareness-raising devices which seek to compete with the dominant society. Second, the constitution of spaces for “reculturation” which attempt to reinvent values, modalities of collective action and aesthetics.

  • Cultural politics
  • Martinique
  • postcolonialism
  • self-help organisation
  • social movements
Lionel Arnaud
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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