The copycat identity in a neocolonial Bahamas
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Arts
When the 2015 Junkanoo Carnival festival made its debut in the Bahamas, it seemed as if the native Bahamian cultural festival Junkanoo had been perverted into a culture that was unrelated to the Bahamia n identity. The decision to diversify the tourism product in this way led to a marginalization of native Bahamian culture. The tourism industry’s decision provoked an inquiry into the Bahamian identity. On the surface, Bahamian identity appears to be copied from other cultures. Copying other cultures results from the neocolonial ultimatum to participate in globalization while suffering a marginalized identity over risking not surviving in a world of global capitalism. Therefore, the Copycat identity is formed through neocolonial processes. The Bahamian tourism industry facilitates neocolonialism and the Copycat identity by producing neocolonial relationships and manipulating Bahamian culture to reflect the values of the neocolonizer –the tourist. After unveiling the neocolonial effects on Bahamian culture and identity, it is seen that the Copycat identity is merely a Junkanoo identity in which the Bahamian adapts to and acquires the music, dance, and artistry. Like the festival, the Junkanoo identity reflects the authentic identity of the Bahamian as opposed to the neocolonial identity. The Calypsonian Cyborg makes it possible to shift from the Copycat identity to the Junkanoo identity through the process of decolonization. Challenging and questioning the Bahamian situation also make it possible to decolonize and achieve a true Bahamian identity.
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