2024-06-18 19:10:33
Avatar activism fans/Scrapbook

Le Monde diplomatique – English edition

The Avatar activists are tapping into a very old language of popular protest. The cultural historian Natalie Zemon Davis reminds us in her classic essay “Women on Top” (2) that protesters in early modern Europe often masked their identity through dressing as peoples real (the Moors) or imagined (the Amazons) seen as a threat to the civilised order. The good citizens of Boston continued this tradition in the New World when they dressed as Native Americans to dump tea in the harbour. And African-Americans in New Orleans formed their own Mardi Gras Indian tribes, taking imagery from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, to signify their own struggles for respect and dignity (a cultural practice being reconsidered in HBO’s television series, Treme, by David Simon, about the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans).

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