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Uneasy Experiments in Radical Cultural Comparison: Gang Violence, Ethical Cultivation and Sade's Moral Universe

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During a workshop at Aarhus University, participants were asked to carry out an anthropological experiment modelled upon an artistic one. The artistic experiment involved one filmmaker presenting a series of obstructions to another, in effect setting unfamiliar and even abhorrent artistic tasks. My obstruction involved drawing upon Marquis de Sade's writings to consider urban gang violence among the African Americans I have studied. This paper represents my uneasy response. It is fashioned as series of dialogues, rather in the manner of a theatre piece. I offer an ethnographic case where a child is murdered and his older brother, Ralph (a gang member), exhorts his fellow ‘homies’ to stop the killings. Dialogues extracted from Sade's fictional debates between the virtuous and the libertines are juxtaposed against a fictional dialogue between Ralph and gang members who speak to the pleasures of violence and gang life.

Sider (fra-til)886-906
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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