Politics of representation and self-definition in Black Stand-up performances in Switzerland

Authors: Mélanie Petremont*,
Topics: Cultural Geography
Keywords: humour, switzerland afroeuropeans
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon D2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


My paper focuses on humor as a space of domination and resistance involving the Afro-european diaspora in the postcolony. More particularly, it addresses the practices of self-definition of auto-proclaimed “Afro-swiss” and/or “Black” stand-up performers. It is based on videos and direct observation of stand-up performances of Black artists performing in Switzerland. Leaning on a performative approach in geopolitics (Glass &Rose-Redwood: 2014) it will describe and analyze how comic performers use their identity to tackle the politics of representation (Hall: 2013) forged in colonial times in order to regain control of the representation and definition of themselves and re-locate new stages od resistance.

By interrogating humor as a weapon of resistance and a “tool” of deconstructing and decolonize oneself, this paper aims to open a discussion of possible alternative and moving spaces and places of identity of Black people in Europe.

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