Costumes + Criticism: the social role of Tenerife’s Carnival ‘Murgas’

  • DATE

    21 February 2023

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



February is Carnival month worldwide. Nowhere are the celebrations a more unmissable part of the calendar than in Santa Cruz, the capital of the Canary Island of Tenerife, which boasts arguably the second best-known Carnival after Río de Janeiro.

A key component of the festivities are the satirical and very colourful singing groups known as murgas, who prepare all year for Carnival’s most anticipated competition. With origins dating back many decades, the murgas are a very interesting social phenomenon due to their huge popularity and their scathing lyrics. In this talk, Karl McLaughlin offers a detailed introduction to these Carnival groups, highlighting their make-up, deep roots in society, and the controversies they generate year after year.

Dr Karl McLaughlin is Senior Lecturer in Spanish at Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently researching various aspects of Carnival in Tenerife, including the changing social and political themes of the songs of murga groups