Here comes the Carnival and with it a display of our society ingrained racism, ignorance and refusal to better itself.
The Carnival is an annual event in catholic countries, happening the week before the Lent, involving processions with dance and the use of masquerade.Sounds quite fun, isn’tit?
It could be fun, but until the choice of costume is either a stereotypical image of someone’s identity or a full music band dressed in Nazi uniforms dancing and singing on stage being broadcast on a national television in an EU country, the carnival is nothing more but sick racist ‘fest’.
The latter ‘’performance“ happened 2 days ago in Croatia. Viewer discretion is advised, as nausea and vomiting sensations can occur(See Video)
Dressing up as Nazis is offensive and sickening, and this must be banned and punished by law.
You can also spot in the video 2 ladies dressed as Zwarte Piet, which is a racist tradition of Dutch colonial era. Great analyse on Zwarte Piet here .
Similarly, the 19th century minstrel shows, where white performers in the USA darkened their skin, Blackface contributes to spread racial stereotypes and ridicule of black people. In 2017, in Germany, after requests were made to remove the the Blackface ‘characters’ from the parade, initially, instead of removing them, the organisers called on police services to protect the Blackface ‘characters’ from possible attacks. More on it here.
‘Indian’ for Carnaval? The racist stereotype of the numerous Native Americans and First Nation people groups comes from an all-white movie industry. Making profit and stripping away the symbolism of garments continues the exploitation of the indigenous population. Great article in German here
The boheme nomad G*psy? With 1000 years of discrimination, exclusion and oppression, this romanticised stereotype of Roma people adds and perpetuates antigypsyism.
The context of the Carnival should be one of celebration, but more often it’s a free pass to stigmatise and reinforce racist stereotypes. The implication of dressing up in such offensive costumes goes beyond the Carnival, they influence the lives of those affected and negatively impact our society as a whole. Instead of deliberate or ignorant ‘accidental’ choices, let’s grow and work on more mindful and emphatic choices. How we respond and how we hold ourselves accountable is what creates change and makes the world a better and fun place – for all of us.
Article by Andreea-Dalina Pozderie