Friday, February 20, 2015

Christo Negro | Diablo Blanco

As its name implies, the Public Radio International program The World is like a non-credit college of geography on the air. The February 20 broadcast included a story about Carnival in Rio, which might be expected, but it also included a reminder that Carnival is not limited to Rio and New Orleans.

Portobelo is a town on the north coast of Panama, in a province (Colón) named for Columbus. It is the site of a Carnival pageant that subverts conventional notions of race and religion. University of North Carolina professor and hip-hop artist Pierce Freelon describes how a tradition that includes the playful use of blackface is part of a complex critique of colonialism.

El Diablo in Portobelo

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