Harrisonburg Hosts Traveling Arts Carnival de Resistance

This week, EMU has the opportunity to be the first to participate and partake in a radical, grassroots project described as a “traveling arts carnival, village demonstration project, and school for cultural transformation.”

The Carnival de Resistance is premiering in Harrisonburg and organizers hope it will be an unprecedented chance for activism, art, merry-making, and creating memories and connections that will last far beyond the ten-day affair.

The Carnival will be hosted at Trinity Presbyterian Church, however, transportation will be provided from EMU. Twenty-four activists will set up a temporary communal camp at the carnival grounds to experiment enacting a minimalist and environmentally conscious lifestyle.

EMU campus will be the site of many guest performances, including a production of the play, “Out of the Whirlwind” next Wednesday evening in Thomas Plaza.

The Carnival is an attempt at holy mischief-making as the participants offer “masks, banners, sound-makers, dance parties, music, art installations, games… Rolling wagons that unfold into stages that pack up and reappear in various locations around town…. A bicycle-powered sound system that draws on local volunteers to generate power for our fun…” (www.carnivalderesistance.com).

According to Theater Department Chair, Heidi Winters Vogel, a mural will be created by revelers, art faculty and students.

On Thursday afternoon a parade will commence involving “…local activists and social justice organizations” said Vogel. These organizations will include New Community Project, Greenway Group, Our Community Place and various others.

Four original performances integrating theater, music, and dance will be performed on both weekends.

“Each day will explore one of the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water, inviting people to interact with these powerful symbols, collectively grieve, celebrate, and strive together for justice. Each night begins with time in the midway with clever twists on old carnival games, face painting, roving musicians, fortunetellers, and interactive installations.”

According to Vogel, this is a rare opportunity for an extraordinary experience integrating “Christian witness and creation care, entertainment, activism, fun, and cool artists.”

-Rehana Franklin, Staff Writer


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