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people in masks and costumes for carnival

Carnival: The Radiant Reverse-side of Collective Apathy


A fun and delirious act of rebellion that serves, among other things, for society to gain awareness of itself.

Sometimes revolution evolves into party. The carnival, that glowing reverse-side of collective apathy, needs the streets and crowds because it comprises the organic need to laugh and enjoy ourselves outside of the seriousness of everyday life. During carnival, people who usually ignore each other discover a brotherhood and “leap the wall of solitude,” as Octavio Paz would say, to unload their spirits once and for all. It is the fiesta of anonymity and non-personality, and precisely for that reason society can achieve awareness of itself.

people in costume and masks for venice carnival


But the festive delirium that we all know as the carnival has a very simple foundation: parody. The fact of constantly referring to the everyday and caricaturing it allows the masses to look themselves in the eye and relax. Attending a carnival allows one to eat and drink copiously, lighten one’s relationships with the opposite sex, and satirize our own economic and political reality, all from behind the perfect mask. The mask of the people is possible because it lasts for just a few days. Its character of ‘world turned upside down’ and its temporariness allow for the existing social barriers to be erased and for the unpredictable state of ambiguity to reign. The magic of carnival remains the same since the Middle Ages; the same comical, exotic, erotic, demonic, historic and military elements come out of their molds to change the world order.

people in costume and masks for mardi gras in new orleans

There is no need to expand on the importance of this collective gesture of communication and ceremony. A festival that satirizes the economic and political circumstances is by definition political. And all of society needs to laugh at itself, to put its symbols and myths to the test to present alternatives. Carnival is, at the end of the day, a revitalization and a restoration of the world. It is from this mystic and ceremonious nature of the Carnival that Faena Forum takes its inspiration for the Opening Processional Performance that will be taking place this fall in Faena Miami Beach.

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