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Curatorial ConversationsCultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival$
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Olivia Cadaval, Sojin Kim, and Diana Baird N'Diaye

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496805980

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496805980.001.0001

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The Poetics and Power of Presentation at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Poetics and Power of Presentation at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

(p.179) The Poetics and Power of Presentation at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Curatorial Conversations

Marjorie Hunt

University Press of Mississippi

In this chapter, the author draws upon three programs to describe the critical relationship between modes of presentation and interpretation of cultural heritage and traditional knowledge and skills at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. It addresses the complex interplay of many factors and strategies for presenting the skills and experience of participants at the Festival. This includes, among other processes of research and planning, the selection of participants, overall site design, visual presentation and display, the physical set-up of tent interiors, the use of interpretive materials, such as signs, photo murals, banners, and props, and the role of presenters/moderators. The programs described include Masters of the Building Arts, Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions, and One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage.

Keywords:   Interpretation, Organizing concept, Presentation (modes of; poetics and power), Research and planning, Site design

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