What's in Your Wardrobe, Mr. Morales? A Study in Political Dress

Nicolás Salazar-Sutil
2009 Popular Communication  
This article explores the role of dress in popular political communication. My discussion focuses on the so-called 'cultural democratic revolution' led by Evo Morales, and the emergence of a 'government in poncho and tie', which aims at visualising a plurinationalist State in Bolivia. The strategic use of casual clothes and football shirts are examined as cases of political performativity in a developing Latin American democracy. What is the role of political dress in the formation of circles
more » ... mation of circles of political voters/fans? How does the electorate perceive Morales' political imagery? How does an alternative styling of the democratic system problematise a more formal and uniform style of democratic leadership? Central to my argument is the notion that dress functions as a multi-layered language where different items of clothing reflect different narratives. In my view, Evo Morales has become a layered narrative through which histories and past knowledges are reflected in a 'pluriform' vestimentary style.
doi:10.1080/15405700902776461 fatcat:b6eow6rdcjgwzbeqiyxxpcpwfm