Abandoned by her mother and sent to live with relatives in Dakar, the author tells of being educated in the French colonial school system, where she comes gradually to feel alienated from her family and Muslim upbringing, growing enamored with the West. Academic success gives her the opportunity to study in Belgium, which she looks upon as a "promised land." There she is objectified as an exotic creature, however, and she descends into promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse, and, eventually, prostitution. (It was out of concern on her editor's part about her candor that the author used the pseudonym Ken Bugul, the Wolof phrase for "the person no one wants.") Her return to Senegal, which concludes the book, presents her with a past she cannot reenter, a painful but necessary realization as she begins to create a new life there.
Africa Writing Europe offers critical readings of the meaning and presence of Europe in a variety of African literary texts. The first of its kind, it shifts the focus from questions of African identity to readings which delineate ideas of Europe also in texts written specifically in an African context. It seeks to place the representations of Europe in an historical context by including a number of different and often conflicting definitions of the Africa–Europe opposition, definitions that are traced to differences between the specific geographical and cultural locations both in the African and in the European context, including an Eastern European perspective as well as the metropolitan centres of Britain and France.The readings engage with the legacy of white domination manifested as slavery, colonialism, and apartheid as well as with the entangled histories and new perspectives developed through exile, both as voluntary and as forced migration. Several essays address the gendered dimension of the Africa–Europe opposition and relate it to other intersecting oppositions, such as the rural and the urban, the private and the public, in their analysis of representations of femininity and masculinity in the literary texts.The contributors to this volume come from different national backgrounds and share in examining the question of Europe in African literature. Authors discussed include Leila Aboulela, Tatamkhulu Afrika, Alice Solomon Bowen, Ken Bugul, Marie Cardinal, Eric Ngalle Charles, Yvette Christiansë, Soleïman Adel Guémar, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Dan Jacobson, Njabulo Ndebele, Femi Osofisan, Rebekah F., and Tayeb Salih.
The jali--a member of a hereditary group of Mandinka professional performers--is a charismatic but contradictory figure. He is at once the repository of his people's history, the voice of contemporary political authority, the inspiration for African American dreams of an African homeland, and the chief entertainment for the burgeoning transnational tourist industry. Numerous journalists, scholars, politicians, and culture aficionados have tried to pin him down. This book shows how the jali's talents at performance make him a genius at representation--the ideal figure to tell us about the "Africa" that the world imagines, which is always a thing of illusion, magic, and contradiction. Africa often enters the global imagination through news accounts of ethnic war, famine, and despotic political regimes. Those interested in countering such dystopic images--be they cultural nationalists in the African diaspora or connoisseurs of "global culture"--often found their representations of an emancipatory Africa on an enthusiasm for West African popular culture and performance arts. Based on extensive field research in The Gambia and focusing on the figure of the jali, Performing Africa interrogates these representations together with their cultural and political implications. It explores how Africa is produced, circulated, and consumed through performance and how encounters through performance create the place of Africa in the world. Innovative and discerning, Performing Africa is a provocative contribution to debates over cultural nationalism and the construction of identity and history in Africa and elsewhere.
The African continent is home to spectacularly expressive human beings: rebellious anti-colonial and opposition leaders, eloquent novelists, political and social activists, comical geniuses, pensive and philosophical poets and intellectuals, as well as a few raving dictators. And the body of proverbial wisdom from Africa alone could fill many volumes. Despite being eminently quotable, Africa is not so readily quoted. Stewart's Quotable Africa covers the whole of Africa - north to south and east to west - and includes memorable statements from hundreds of speakers including Nelson Mandela, Doris Lessing, Chinua Achebe, Julius Nyerere, Kofi Annan among others, as well as biblical passages and proverbs. Julia Stewart has spent over a decade collecting the 5000 plus quotes found in this book, all of them either by Africans or about African subjects.
Giordano Sivini has been an international aid consultant for over twenty-five years. Here he channels a 1960s and 1970s idealistic political commitment into fieldwork and the sphere of development from the 1980s to the present. Sivini writes with both passion and cynicism about his experiences with the numerous African aid projects he has been involved with over the years. While the "fathers of independence" of British and French decolonization wanted to change the colonial conditions of exploitation, Sivini finds that their good intentions have been shipwrecked. Ironically, the longer Sivini served as an aid consultant, the more he found himself dismayed at the various projects that were under way or slated to begin. He perceived some of the projects as grotesque, and, almost all ineffective. The money was wasted on such ventures not because of a particular government's interest in the social effects they would have on the local populace, but because of the direct and indirect benefits the government would receive. Sivini sees international development aid as its own market: development is a commodity that takes the form of large and small projects, and is traded for loans and gifts to generate political and economic advantages for the institutional participants in the exchange. Ultimately, governmental and aid projects often stimulate resistance from the local populace as agencies upset their usual system of production by regimenting peasants to produce for the market, then appropriate the cattle of nomadic pastoralists, villagizing and resettling peasants in areas of high productivity, and exploiting laborers in large farms. This creates social disintegration, mass migration in urban informal economy, and poverty. This is a dynamic and moving analysis of foreign aid that will be of interest to students of African studies, governmental programs, rural development, and political economy.
How can we work toward mutual understanding in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world? Pastoral theologian Melinda McGarrah Sharp approaches this multifaceted, interdisciplinary question by beginning with moments of intercultural misunderstanding. Using misunderstanding stories from her experience working with the Peace Corps in Suriname, Dr. McGarrah Sharp argues that we must recognize the limits of our own cultural perspectives in order to have meaningful intercultural encounters that are more mutually empowering and hopeful. Bringing together resources from pastoral theology, ethnography, and postcolonial studies, she provides a valuable resource for investigating the complexity of providing care and fostering communities of belonging across cultural differences. McGarrah Sharp illustrates a process of moving from disconnection to regard for diverse others as neighbors who share a common yearning for hopeful and meaningful connection. Leaders in faith communities, practitioners of care, and scholars will all be able to use this resource to better understand the conflicts, tensions, and uncertainties of our postcolonial twenty-first-century world. An included discussion guide facilitates classroom study, small group discussion, and personal reflection.
"Home" is a contested notion in contemporary literary and cultural studies, as critics assess the impact of empire, independence, migration and globalization upon colonial and postcolonial subjects. This volume assembles articles on the representation of home specifically in women's autobiography, which is now one of the most exciting and productive fields of literary studies. The chapters analyze writing from diverse areas of the Francophone world, including North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Indo-China, in addition to focussing on works by immigrant writers in France. The volume investigates the importance and the nuances of the construction of "home" in narratives of female identity in different contexts. This timely book includes original analyses by a range of scholars and studies both established writers, such as Maryse Cond, Marguerite Duras and Marie Cardinal, and newer voices such as Fatou Diome, Faza Gu]ne and Hl]ne Grimaud. Gender and Displacement: The Representation of Home in Francophone Women's Autobiography thus brings new understandings to the connections between race, gender, colonization and migration in female identity in diverse spaces.
African women writers have come a long way from the 1960s when they were hardly noticed as serious writers. Since the 1960s, female writing in Africa has been steadily rising in quantity and quality. This work shows how their literature is redefining images of womanhood.
A collection of essays, which analyze black diasporic communities and their cultural productions in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, focusing on women afrosporic writers.
Women of color remain arguably the most economically, politically, and socially marginalized group in the United States and the Third World. In Spoils of War, a diverse group of distinguished contributors suggest that acts of aggression resulting from the racism and sexism inherent in social institutions can be viewed as a sort of "war," experienced daily by women of color.