By Max Farrar on May 6, 2020
By Max Farrar on January 6, 2020
This article is my latest effort to think about the Caribbean form of carnival as I’ve experienced it over nearly 50 years, mainly in Leeds, and occasionally in Trinidad. It emphasises the regenerative, satirical and playful elements of carnival, utilising the work of the great Russian thinker Mikhail Bakhtin.
It was written for the academic journal Caribbean Quarterly, excellently edited by Dr Kim Robinson-Walcott, so it has some of the flavour demanded by universities. But it should be fairly readable, especially to those who love the bacchanal. Download here:
This special issue of Caribbean Quarterly (Vol 65, No. 4) on carnival was edited by Dr Emily Zobel Marshall and it contains lots of other interesting work on this topic. You can see the list of articles on the CQ link above. If you have free access to the journal online please download them. If not, email me and I’ll send you them as PDFs. (This issue is on the Caribbean Quarterly link above.)
Some time ago I co-authored with Emily ZM and my brother Guy another article on carnival for the journal Soundings. It’s less academic than the CQ article and it makes a slightly different argument. You can download it from their site or (to save money) you may download this PDF.
All comments are welcomed.
Posted in blog, culture and politics | Tagged bacchanal, Caribbean Carnival, Carnival, HBMDM, Leeds West Indian Carnival, masquerade, Mikhail Bakhtin, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago Carnival | Leave a response
By Max Farrar on April 4, 2019
The Transformation page, admirably edited by Michael Edwards for the impressive openDemocracy website, kindly published my journalistic effort to promote an idea — I hesitate to call it a philosophy — that came to me while writing the concluding chapters of the book on Big Flame that I’m writing with Keven McDonnell.
I call it sensuous materialism
At first I called it ’emotional materialism’ but I thought people would laugh (overtones of excessively excited leftists crying over the class struggle?). I took ‘sensuous’ from Karl Marx’s early philosophical writing where he is breaking with idealism and positing everyday human activity — as humans everywhere make their material and social world — as the fundamental unit of society.
If you want to read a longer and more academic version of this argument, here’s an extract from Chapter 10 of the book that will hopefully come out next year: Max Farrar & Kevin McDonnell, Big Flame: Rethinking Radical Politics, London: Merlin Press (forthcoming) Sensuous materialism from BF book
By Max Farrar on June 5, 2018
417414_1_En_9_Chapter_OnlinePDF (publishers’ proof of my chapter on David Oluwale)
I’m Secretary to the David Oluwale Memorial Association (DOMA) and I spend a lot of my time reminding all those who are interested of the fate of a man who stowed away on a ship leaving Lagos in 1949, and who was killed by two policemen in Leeds in 1969.
We believe he was killed, but the judge at the policemen’s trial didn’t allow the jury to consider the relevant evidence, so they were acquitted on manslaughter and convicted only of causing him actual bodily harm.
My friend Dr Quentin Outram (University of Leeds) knew about the campaign DOMA has launched for a public memorial to David Oluwale in the centre of Leeds, near the River Aire, in which David was drowned. Quentin suggested I write a chapter for a book he was editing about secular martyrs in Britain and Ireland.
The book has now been published and it’s crammed with fascinating historical analysis. Full information here: Outram/Laybourn Secular Martyrdom in Britain and Ireland – From Peterloo to the Present (Palgrave, 2018)
My final draft of the chapter on David Oluwale, which, amongst other things explains why I think he was murdered, is here 9. David Oluwale memory and martyrdom Max Farrar (FINAL 4)
More on the David Oluwale Memorial Association here.