The Blackface and le Sauvage: Local Folklore versus Popular Perspective

Luc D. Guglielmi (Kennesaw State University)

On the 4th Sunday of August, around Saint Julian day, Ath, a small town in the French speaking part of Belgium, has its annual procession called le cortège . This procession represents parts of the local and national history, religious symbols but also includes some fictional characters. One of them called le sauvage, the savage, made the news internationally due to anti-racism groups criticizing the character and his blackface disguise. The research is based from personal fieldwork done in Ath and Brussels, various meetings done with local historians (Dubuisson and Adrien), and interviews.

Part of 06-02 Decolonizing Cultural Heritage, Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm