Book Review: Marginalisation and Events

By Aina Oluwaseyi (PhD Candidate, University of the West of Scotland)

The book Marginalisation and Events, written by and edited by Trudie Walters and Allan Stewart Jepson (published by Routledge), discusses marginalisation in-depth.

The book has a total of fifteen chapter which are divided into three parts. Part one and two has a total of four chapters each, while part three has a total of six chapters.

The introductory chapter helps the reader understand the word “marginalisation”, what it means, and its linkage with events. It begins with a discussion of the “margin” and the “marginalised”, then goes further to highlight and explain in details some of the ways in which groups and communities may be marginalised. This introductory part sets the tone for the rest of the chapters.

Part one discusses identity, cohesion, well-being and quality of life. A good attempt was made to explain, with example, the marginalisation processes in urban festivals, street festivals and participatory arts events… using events in Sao Paulo and Lisbon, New Zealand and Hertfordshire as case studies. Across the three events, it is noticeable that while some sets of people feel included and identifies with the events and happenings, a others also feel secluded and unsafe. This is a subtle call on event organisers to be more intentional about including the marginalised. As inclusion prevents them from being lonely and feeling less of a human – which in turn improves their quality of life.

Part two discusses empowerment, resistance and transformation using Hip hop events in South Africa and the European Capital of Culture in Matera 2019 as case studies. Gender politics, immigrants, refugees, homeless have always been an issue – probably always will be. However, events can play a major role in setting the narratives upon which issues like these are transformed. Amongst other things, the work here proposes the use of language in music as a means of ensuring integration and acceptation. Music is also a language which the whole world speaks – directly and indirectly.

Just like the vulnerability of those who are homeless extends beyond lack of access to a safe, secure and comfortable place to sleep (pp, 147), the vulnerabilities of refugees and marginalised artists exceeds their inability to express themselves. The key to transformation is empowerment. And there cannot be a resistance without a voice (music, language, arts, etc.).

Part three, which is the last part of this collection of research work, discusses the marginalisation of the LGBT community and ‘plus size’ consumers. The final part of this book also did well by helping people understand how the marginalisation process happens, and how it can be managed in events.

This edited collection of research work, in general, has made a great contribution to knowledge. Not only by looking into different ways by which marginalisation happens, but also by proffering solutions and recommendations as to how everybody, regardless of their age, sexuality, disability, body size, religion, and so on can be included in ALL events. The case studies were apt, the interviews made with people were perfect in eliciting informative responses. I believe this is a very good contribution to the Event and Tourism department. I believe this book to be valuable not only in academia and for academic research but also for Event Organisers and planning committees as a tool to enhance strategic planning that would minimise marginalisation of groups.

 

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