Here, as in a thesis I finished in 2003 for a Master’s in Communications at Simon Fraser University, I am going to define “Carnival” as a mediation space where the everyday concerns of ordinary people, especially resistance to authority, can be expressed in a myriad of ways.
I guess we could say Canadians were displaying a little bit of that resistance when we booted Harper out of Office in 2015. Unfortunately results have been topsy turvy!
Junior Trudeau, Canada’s replacement PM, describes himself as a feminist and a friend of Canada’s Indigenous people and expresses his great concern for the environmental future of our country. But actions are stronger than words. More dams, more neoliberal trade agreements, more fracking and probably more oil pipelines. Not to mention the denial of entry to Canada that activists from Europe, Africa, Palestine and other places have faced.
Among the scores of people denied entry to Canada during last summer’s International Social Forum held in Montreal was Aminata Traoré, Mali’s Minister of Culture. Just the other day the Council of Canadians announced that José Bové, the french activist farmer and member of European Parliament was denied entry to Canada ostensibly for being arrested when he protested against both Macdonalds and the use of GMO’s in France in the late 1990’s. But in reality it was clear that his denial of entry was due to his opposition to yet another trade agreement. That decision was overturned as a public brouhaha! And that is what the carnival is all about.
The focus in this space will be the carnival of resistance. I’ll be seeking out resistance stories from all over the world — the more creative the better! Stay tuned!