Postcolonial Subjectivities in Africa

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Richard P. Werbner
Zed Books, 2002 - Social Science - 244 pages
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This is the third volume in a trilogy on identity, memory and subjectivity. Contributors to the book share an ambition to combine personal, political and existential dimensions in detailed evocations of the ambitions and vulnerabilities of contemporary Africans. Their essays aim to forge alliances between patient local scholarship and adventurous theoretical speculation that should inspire new research and caution against bland generalizations about African marginality.

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The part on Peter Mwasi Nguchi transcends the literal interpretations grafted out of picture poses. It also represents the identity crisis of the Kenyan 'post independence' generational euphoria that never materialised into actualised liberation.The post-2007 election violence underlies this fact.
As the photographer in mention,(Maina Hatchison)I have kept in touch with Peter (2009)who not only has matured into a fully fledged musician and performer but threaded original dreadlocks to boot.His group recently won a national award only for him(Peter) to throw it away in protest.He has vowed to go solo 2010.
Strangely, Peter is not a radical per se. Perhaps Sun Tsu was right stating that 'war is deception'. He represents a disillussioned age that cant even be allowed - by the establishment - to evolve out of social mess politicised at their expence. My take always was that if that couldn't be universally acheived, Peter is willing to craft a niche to liberate himself. His card now reads..'dealers in clothinglines,jewellery, music & CDs and DVDs, cultural ambassador..
As for title, Peter is true to his vision; CEO.


Virtuous Subject
Photographic SelfCreation in Postcolonial Kenya
Herero and the New Intercalary
Hoping for Health
Ancestral Incests and Postcolonial Subjectivities
Afterword The Personal the Political

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About the author (2002)

Richard Werbner is professor of African Anthropology and Director of the International Centre for Contemporary Cultural Research (ICCR) at the University of Manchester. Among his books are Ritual Passage, Sacred Journey (1989), and Tears of the Dead (1991), for which he received the Amaury Talbot Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is coeditor-in-chief of Social Analysis and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Southern African Studies, Cultural Dynamics, Journal of Legal Pluralism, and Journal of Religion in Africa. He is also series editor of Postcolonial Encounters, a Zed Books series in association with the ICCR, Universities of Manchester and Keele. His distinguished career has included visiting appointments at a number of universities in Africa and North America.

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