Festivals, affect and identity: A Deleuzian apprenticeship in central Italian communities
Crociani-Windland, L. (2011) Festivals, affect and identity: A Deleuzian apprenticeship in central Italian communities. London: Anthem press. ISBN 9780857289988
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‘Festivals, Affect and Identity’ offers an outline of areas of continental philosophy and critical theory, which involve high levels of abstractions, yet become more accessible when related to specific events and their detailed analysis. The case study material enables theories to become more understandable in relation to application, triangulation and comparison with different theoretical frameworks. It puts flesh on the ‘hard to get hold of’ nature of continental philosophy. Maintaining continuity in the face of problems and ruptures and the interplay of fluidity and structure are central aspects explored and illustrated by ethnography focused on the affective dynamics of four festivals: the ‘Palio’ in Siena and the ‘Bravio’ in Montepulciano both based on competitive territorial divisions; the ‘Bruscello’ in Montepulciano and the ‘Teatro Povero’ in Monticchiello, both theatres with links to sharecropping, a long established agrarian practice vanquished by modernity. The detailed analysis applied to this selection of case studies offers a grounding of theoretical concepts and an example of how these may be applied to analyse different phenomena. This approach sees the imprint of environmental and historical conditions as generative of a dynamic process of ever evolving community identities for which festivals provide expression, while also providing a way of living with them.