The Carnival of Cadiz, highly prized and protected museum piece

MORE INFORMATION The mood of the Carnival of Cádiz is ‘illegal’ “Prepare to enter the hall/ of the infinite grace/ you can find/ a work of art/ on any corner”

The Carnival of Cadiz, highly prized and protected museum piece


The mood of the Carnival of Cádiz is ‘illegal’

“Prepare to enter the hall/ of the infinite grace/ you can find/ a work of art/ on any corner”. Although the giants and The dolls of Cadiz already sang that the Carnival would only suffice with a sign on the street that happy if “welcome to the museum”, the party with greater international projection of the city has taken two key steps toward its recognition as a cultural phenomenon and anthropological singular. The declaration of Good of Cultural Interest –the maximum degree of protection of Spanish cultural heritage– in December, has joined the bidding for the works that will make it possible that the Carnival has, at last, with a museum in Cadiz.

Both of these advances were just as long-awaited as delayed by constant changes of plans and postponements. However, the last January 2 the Board of Andalusia officially –with the publication on the COLORS, its official newsletter– the resolution of the General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums for which the party has come to be reinforced as an activity of ethnological interest. “After several months of preparations, wide sectors of society consists of a symbolic taking of urban space through a ritual celebration of a deep draught of the experience and identity”, explains the statement in his boot, as a first approximation to what happens in the streets of Cádiz in the ten days of official Carnival (this year, from 20 February to 1 march).

Although the celebrations of carnival have their origin in Ancient times, the rise of the party in the province of cadiz has its roots in christianity, on the basis of the document, written by the anthropologist Jose Maria Manjavacas. In the Modern Age has established itself as a party of urban and cosmopolitan, but always marked by “the tension” between the transgression of the popular strata and the reprobaciones moral of the elites. “[The Carnival] is in large measure a reflection of, and at the same time factor of recreation, hopes, and utopias of collective that are cyclically revived from the memories and imagined collective,” adds the statement. In addition to identifies up to six public spaces in which you live the party: The districts of la Viña and el Pópulo, the Central Market, the Gran Teatro Falla and the squares of Mina and la Candelaria.

“The statement was something that was needed”, sums up Mercedes Colombo, provincial delegate of Culture of the Junta. But not because the party, each year more nourished in the creators and the public, may be at risk of disappearing. But because it is a necessary step leading to achieve that it can be declared in the future Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. In that task takes the Classroom of Culture of the Carnival –institution focused on the documentation and investigation– from 2013, as recognized by the researcher Felipe Barbosa, who has collaborated in the preparation of the dossier. “It has not been complicated by all that I had researched. Since it was recovered in 1977, after franco's dictatorship –was forbidden for decades– began to research and study of the Carnival,” he explains.

One of the keys of the declaration has been the dimension of a cultural phenomenon as heterogeneous, free and intangible. It is just the trance in which you already begin to think in the City of Cadiz, engaged in the tendering of the work of the future Interpretation Center of the Carnival. “We don't want a product still, only to open a door for those who may want to venture into the authenticity of this party, in a living space,” says the councillor for Culture, Lola Calzadilla. After you change more than three times of a possible location and to accumulate a decade of delay --the paso doble of The Dolls is 2011–, the museum will be located in the house palace of the Marquises of Recaño, a civil building of the XVIII century near the Central Market.

Of the more than three million euros that it cost, the first phase of adaptation of the space will mean 2.4 million, which will come out of the municipal accounts, and 1.5% cultural state. To this is added 1.1 million from the european funds ITI to provide the Board of Andalusia and you will go to a second phase of musealisation. At that point in the content is where the Town hall of cadiz was played with a feast that every year is renewed in repertoires, types –costume– and scenery.

“Next to the materials that are displayed permanently, it should be visual and technological. We must try to be a point of reference in Spain, which will demonstrate the wealth that has been generated,” says Barbosa. Without providing specific details, Calzadilla advances that the intention of the city Council passed, precisely, that has meeting rooms and audiovisual resources that interpret the party in the street, the craftsmanship or the international connections of the celebration, in addition to areas of conferences and meetings in a phenomenon in which the assays are key to the groupings. In about two years we will see if that entropic Carnival of Cadiz, already declared BIC, it is also suitable to become an attractive museum piece.

Updated Date: 13 January 2020, 11:00



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