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Media opportunity: Dalhousie University social anthropologist explores the joyful reasons people are drawn to Mardi Gras and the sense of community it provides

Posted by Communications and Marketing on February 8, 2024 in News

People from around the world are celebrating the annual Carnival in New Orleans, where city streets have for days been full of festooned revellers, colourful parades and elaborate floats leading up to Mardi Gras Day on Feb. 13.

This year, the party also includes an outdoor photo exhibit and exploration of what participating in Carnival means to people and why they spend so much time and energy putting on events that come around once a year for a few hours.

Martha Radice, an associate professor in Dalhousie University's Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, worked with photographer Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee on the project, called Carnival from the Ground Up. It is on display outside the New Orleans Jazz Museum until the end of Mardi Gras, and features photos of people making and wearing brightly coloured costumes, as well as many of the walking and dancing 'krewes' who create their Carnival suits and floats by hand.

In doing her research and writing the accompanying captions, Dr. Radice found that people get joy not only from being in the parades, but also from learning and teaching others how to make what's needed for Carnival.

Dr. Radice is available to discuss the project and how it demonstrates the importance of cultivating activities that can be a source of creativity, community and well-being for people.

Photos and captions are available here.


Media contact:

Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing and Creative Services
Dalhousie University 
Cell: 1-902-220-0491 


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