Folk Culture and Modernity

Posted by: | March 4, 2009 | Comments Off on Folk Culture and Modernity

The readings this week were really interesting, complete and descriptive. However they were also really long and I found it really hard to finish them over the weekend. However, having read them now I feel they brought together some of the ideas that we have been talking about in our classes so far. The notion of power dynamics and struggles and how it all in turn affects and aids in creating the popular culture of a society.

The first reading aims at examining, “specifically, public space and discourse, state power, and civil societal movements…” Campbell explains muralism as an art and expression, and how it contributes to Mexican culture. The Murals combine many aspects of culture at all levels of society. They combine folk culture and modern culture and are produced by people working towards a similar expression, action, events, histories, etc in an artistic form that is open to all members of a community. These massive prints are viewed by many generations of people and understood as expressions of power relations between “the people” and the state. Peoples experiences are expressed in the murals, the experiences they have shared and how those experiences have in turn created what they have today. Members of communities come together to share the troubles they have faced together and express these in their art.

The second article by Taussig, was also interesting but it took a while for me to get into it. To be honest I don’t know if I really got it, or got it right at least.  I found I had to read a section over a few times, making myself be really present in order to ‘get’ his writing style. “The Queen Spirit” is not really full of such in depth descriptions like Campbells writing about culture and how it comes to be. Taussig more or less provides descriptions that enable the reader to picture for themselves the formation of a culture. His article describes Colombia’s power struggles and the interactions between poorer and more developed worlds. This article had lots of examples but im still not so sure if I’m getting it right.. I look forward to discussing it all in class to see if im on the right track here!


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