London’s Notting Hill Carnival has experienced major disruptions due to the pandemic legislation and Covid-19-related limitations. Following the cancellation of its parade and most related events in 2020 and the partial cancellation in 2021, a wide variety of online formats related to Carnival emerged. This contribution presents the results of an exploratory research study into the relationships linked to digitization by carnival practitioners and participants. Based on onsite and online fieldwork research conducted during the carnival season 2021, the article highlights how various social actors within the Carnival industry have negotiated the disruption of their creative practices and the meanings of virtual venues and platforms within the Carnival ritual and performance. Our investigation seeks to provide insights from a micro-perspective on how Carnival, with its localized aesthetic and performativity, is renegotiated, accepted, or rejected in the digitalscape. First, we will discuss the experiences of using digital media that creative professionals have shared in terms of opportunity and constraint. Secondly, the article presents an ethnographic qualitative investigation of multi-sensory embodied memories from offline participants in the Notting Hill carnival. It shows the improvements the online venues can offer to the carnival’s management, audience, and practitioners while at the same time explaining some of its limitations.
Gugolati, MaicaKlien-Thomas, Hanna
School of Arts
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-01-06