Conference | 24-25 Oct 2018 | Tropenmuseum
This conference explores the popular culture through which the authority of criminal organizations is produced and sustained. Drawing from cases across the world, participants discuss how popular music, film, dance, street art and other forms of expressive culture are central to extra-legal forms of rule and belonging.
From Brazilian traffickers to Jamaican “dons”, from the Sicilian mafia to South African gangsters, criminal organizations and leaders draw on the sensory power of popular culture to normalize their activities. The power they may wield lies not only in their access to weapons and money – criminal authority also has imaginative, aesthetic underpinnings. This conference examines the emotional and ethical work that specific texts, sounds, performative practices, and visual images do in such contexts.
The Popular Culture of Illegality Research Project
The Popular Culture of Illegality: Criminal Authority and the Politics of Aesthetics in Latin America and the Caribbean studies the popular culture of illegality: the music, visual culture and material culture through which the socio-political authority of criminal gangs is produced. Through which aesthetic practices are people mobilized to accept and support criminal authority? How is the popular culture of illegality central to forms of governmentality? How do visuality, aurality and materiality work to constitute and legitimate authority?
- Jean Comaroff (Harvard University)
- Peter and Jane Schneider (Fordham University The City University of New York)
- Lucia Michelutti (UCL Anthropology)
- Carly Machado (Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro)
- Jason Pine (State University of New York at Purchase)
- Sasha Newell (North Carolina State University)
- Chelsey Kivland (Dartmouth College)
- Tracian Meikle (University of Amsterdam)
- Sterre Gilsing (Utrecht University)