FORMULATING DISSENT: HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE WHILE REMAINING ON THE MARGIN
Elective Leader: Mxolisi Makhubo
"As a radical standpoint, perspective, position, 'the politics of location' necessarily calls those of us who would participate in the formation of counter-hegemonic cultural practice to identify the spaces where we begin the process of re-vision …[f]or me this space of radical openness is a margin - a profound edge. Locating oneself there is difficult yet necessary. It is not a 'safe' place. One is always at risk. One needs a community of resistance." Bell Hooks, 1989
In Rabelais and His World (1965) by Russian philosopher, Mikhail Bakhtin, he proposes the carnival as a space for waging war on the status quo. He argues that the European folkloric carnival, and those that occupy the carnivalesque – or being in the moment– (explain or remove being in the moment) are undoing ontological bodily conventions (gender, race, class etc.) through the occupation of a grotesque body– a body that stands in stark contrast to its ‘intended' use. In the carnival, all societal rules get waived in favour of excess, parody, and hedonism. The suppressed can occupy the carnival for counter-hegemonic practices under the safety of a second world utopia, in which authoritarianism gets suspended for the extrapolitical – the carnival's rules are the only rules. Brad Erickson (2016) in his article: George Clinton and David Bowie: The Space Race in Black and White, Popular Music and Society argues that this mode of practice, of revolting with laughter, allows the artists for dissenting while avoiding the severe consequences that would be applicable outside the carnival period. The carnival becomes a place ripe for sowing the seeds of dissent with a smile on your face.