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How diverse is Cologne Carnival? How migrants appropriate popular art spaces
Title of the book
Multiculturalism and the Arts in European Cities
Routledge Special Issues as Books
This book was originally published as a special issue of Identities:Global Studies in Culture and Power.
The present article contributes to the ongoing academic debate on migrants' appropriation of artistic and political spaces in Germany. Cologne, one of the largest cities in Germany, is an interesting example of the tension between political discourse centred around multiculturalism and cultural segregation processes. The 'no fool is illegal' carnival organised by asylum seekers shows their capacity to act, as they reinvent an old local tradition by reinterpreting medieval rituals. Today, different groups and associations appropriate this festive art space: migrants, gays and lesbians, feminists and far-left groups either organise their own parties or take part in the official parties and parades as separate groups. As a result, the celebration of diversity figures on the local political agenda and becomes part of the official carnival festivities. This leads to a blurring of boundaries, whereby mainstream popular culture becomes more and more influenced by multicultural elements.
carnival, migrants, diversity, Cologne, multiculturalism, reinvention of tradition
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