Food and Public Space: Encounters in Celebration Cover Image

Храна и публичност: срещи в празника
Food and Public Space: Encounters in Celebration

Author(s): Rayna Gavrilova
Subject(s): Anthropology, Social Sciences, Customs / Folklore, Civil Society, Political behavior, Politics and society, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Culture and social structure , Inter-Ethnic Relations, Ethnic Minorities Studies, Sociology of Politics, Globalization, Politics of History/Memory, Politics and Identity, Identity of Collectives
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН
Keywords: Public space; participation; celebration; food; commensality; audience; political actors; media

Summary/Abstract: The proposed paper is an attempt to examine and discuss the relation between social interactions, festivity, and food in the beginning of twenty-first-century Bulgaria. Topics of interest are the specific forms of public space and the participation during two types of events: the festivals of individual towns and the political kurbans. The article examines the extent to which the communal celebrations have “enter[ed] the service of economic and political propaganda” (Habermas). Both types of events are organized “from the top” – they are planned, financed and practically performed by people who possess political power. Furthermore, they both include certain forms of distribution of free food; thus, the author comes to the conclusion that the consumption of offered food and drinks binds the participating individuals in a somatic and emotional mutual experiencing the celebration. Commensality is a form of participation, which by definition is voluntary and unarticulated inclusion. The citizens are a quiet audience (public, n. in Bulgarian) of the activities presented on stage but enthusiastic participants in the shared meals.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 488-506
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Bulgarian