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Bernard Bel, Jan Brouwer, Biswajit Das, Vibodh Parthasarathi & Guy Poitevin

In: Communication, Culture and Confrontation

Chapter : Introduction

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The four contributions in this section focus on two different cultural forms of communication: the small image, a seemingly innocuous, inoffensive and lonely trifle; and the mass festival, carnival and pilgrimage, obviously crowd-pulling, impressive and compelling displays of collective beliefs–secular and religious. But this is a mistaken prima facie intelligence. A closer attention shows that they share two essential features. First, purposively by their ostentatious display in the open they intend to invest common and public spaces in order to overtly or covertly imprint the minds of the public at large. Second, this display turns common and public spaces into a stage where contending forces vie with one another to occupy the apron. Power and ambivalence pull the semantic potential of these forms apart ...

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