Issue 22: Radiant

Nancy Rojas

Reading time: 9 minutes



Liminal Sovereignty: Trap as a Contemporary “Popular” Artform

On the border, between the Great Outside and the Great Inside there are fissures that detonate fixed categories, Nancy Rojas addresses these liminal spaces within language from the transforming insurgency of trap.

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  1. Suely Rolnik, Esferas de la insurrección. Apuntes para descolonizar el insconsciente (Buenos Aires: Tinta Limón, 2019), 22.

  2. From the song Calentura, by Afro-Paraguayan transmasculine artist, composer and singer MC Humver, released in April 2021.

  3. Liminality connotes the threshold, the border, that which seems constant but is not. “For years I have understood the liminal to be the emergence of a mode that makes it possible to inhabit the world in a poetic and authentic way, albeit ephemerally. Liminality is inevitably linked to communitas, to the unhierarchized proximity to others, to the unregulated but vital encounter, to doing for oneself and for others, to desiring subjectivities, to the politics of desire. To what Félix Guattari called “micropolitics.” In the liminal register, the threshold is a space of transformation and encounter, and implies a certain belief, a certain disposition of spirit, a certain idea that something has to change for the better? Ileana Diéguez, Escenarios liminales. Teatralidades, Performatividades, Políticas (México: Paso de Gato, 2014), 13.

  4. Mass culture “transcends frontiers and invades remote regions like a warm current that advances, standardizing and sweetening, promising inaccessible worlds and sowing promiscuous dreams. Made by the great economic corporations and produced by “specialized executors,” it descends to the majorities and distracts them with its transparent messages and its easy beauty, with models impossible to be referred to any concrete experience or converted into an indication of other truths.” Ticio Escobar, El mito del arte y el mito del pueblo. Cuestiones sobre arte popular (Buenos Aires: Ariel, 2014), 103.

  5. Suely Rolnik, op. cit., 28.

  6. Victoria Beiras del Carril and Paola Cúneo, “Haciendo un freestyle con los qompas: juegos verbales y recontextualización de géneros discursivos en el rap qom,m” Journal de la Société des américanistes (2020): 133.http://journals.openedition.org/jsa/17901

  7. Ticio Escobar, op. cit., 109-110.

  8. Cf. Néstor García Canclini, “La puesta en escena de lo popular” in Culturas híbridas. Estrategias para entrar y salir de la modernidad (Buenos Aires, Paidos, 2001), 206.


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