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Title:"Lo Nuestro es lo Verdadero:" Cultural politics, musical nationalism, and the image of Brazil in Dominican National Carnival
Author(s):Hajek, Jessica C.
Advisor(s):Turino, Thomas R.; Solis, Gabriel
Contributor(s):Solis, Gabriel
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dominican Republic
Abstract:As the home of the most famous and successful carnival, the celebration in the city of Rio de Janeiro has quickly transformed into the world-model for carnivals in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the image of Brazil has played an increasingly influential role in the development of carnival in the Dominican Republic. There are many factors that make carnival in Rio de Janeiro enviable: its economic success, mass tourist appeal, exaggerated grandiloquence, heightened sexuality, and its profound association with the musical genre samba. However, the Dominican state’s desire to imitate Brazilian carnival is not wholly compatible with the customary carnival activities of the Dominican people, nor has it contributed to a substantial change in carnival practices within the Dominican Republic. This thesis investigates both the emergence of carnival practices and musical nationalism in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. This is in order to understand how carnival in Rio developed into the most successful and desirable model for carnival and the conditions that would ultimately impact the compatibility of a Brazilian-carnival model for Dominican carnivals in the twenty-first century. Furthermore, I investigate the historical influences behind the discrepancies between “what Dominicans say” and “what Dominicans do” through analysis of the Dominican National Carnival Parade in Santo Domingo. This conflict is particularly salient between the discourse of Dominican state cultural politics and the actual practices of its people, making a unified concept of “the Dominican nation” both unique and problematic. Therefore, the celebration of Dominican National Carnival in Santo Domingo is an ideal case study for examining the construction of dominicanidad, mediating between Dominican state institutions and the Dominican people. Drawing on fieldwork conducted during the 2010 carnival season throughout the Dominican Republic, this study examines the historical processes of cultural politics behind the formation of Brazilian and Dominican nationalism, analyzes accounts of actual carnival practices in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Santo Domingo during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, explores how the discourse of Brazilian carnival influenced the creation of the Dominican National Carnival parade in Santo Domingo and its continual affect the discourse of Dominican carnival in the twenty-first century, and briefly discusses the recent emergence of the popular Dominican carnival music/dance groups called Alí-Babá and how current carnival practices in Brazil also challenge contemporary conceptions of Brazilian carnival.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Jessica C. Hajek
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08

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