European winter festival masquerades possess a number of common elements - relating to character and content as well as structure - that are astonishingly similar across great geographical distances, from the Balkans to the British Isles, and from Eastern Europe to the Iberian peninsula. This fact, already well-known to Sir James Frazer a century ago, has recently been revisited by a new project of ethnographic research and visual anthropology, entitled The Carnival King of Europe. This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of the project and the visual outcomes that it has produced to date.
Initiated in 2007 and led by a local ethnographic museum in the Italian Alps (Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina), The Carnival King of Europe has involved eight European countries as well as Italy and as many national museums (in France, Spain, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia), with further field trips to England, Switzerland, Austria and Greece.
In addition to fieldwork, the project has also organised itinerant exhibitions and seminars, the publication of several books and articles, the www.carnivalkingofeurope.it website and a number of documentary films, mostly directed by award-winning filmmaker Michele Trentini.