The Winthrop-King Institute at Florida State Univeristy hosted The Performance of Pan-Africanism: from Colonial Exhibitions to Black and African Cultural Festivals conference on October 20-22, 2016. I presented on the panel “Re-thinking Pan-African Culture: Gender and Geography”. My paper was based on research I am doing on social media representations of the female masquerader in the carnival in Jamaica.
The abstract for the paper:
Social Media Representations of the Female Masquerader in the Jamaica Carnival
In 2009, the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica issued directives that prevented television stations from broadcasting the carnival parade in Jamaica. Therefore, those who do not attend the actual parade often view photos of the event on various Facebook pages. Through the process of deciding the subject of the photo, framing, and selection, the photographers for Facebook pages are positioned to dictate how female masqueraders are represented on the social media platform. In this sense, they construct an ideal of what female masqueraders in the carnival should look like which does not necessarily represent Jamaican women. Using a content analysis of three Facebook albums that covered the 2015 parade, the paper posits that photographers preferred women who are slim, light skinned, outfitted in the skimpiest costumes, and engaged in a standing pose. These finding are then discussed with the context of race and class in Jamaica.