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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The aesthetics of liberation: reflections from a southern perspective
Author:Chapman, MichaelISNI
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:national liberation movements
Abstract:This discussion on the aesthetics of liberation is limited to current uses of the term: that is, various forms of cultural expression and representation arising in political opposition to various forms of modern imperialism. More precisely, it concerns struggles usually in the so-called Third World against Western colonialism, or neocolonialism. Any consideration of an aesthetics of liberation requires to be contextualized not only in terms of the style, ideology and comprehensibility of the work as an object of liberation, but in terms of the influence of the object vis--vis its particular political project. Successful revolutions are about mental as well as material change, in which aesthetics and instrumentality meet in rhetorics of persuasion. The struggle to liberate the 'other' from Western impositions has been, and continues to be, a complex and ongoing process. To illustrate the argument, the author focuses on the era of decolonization in Africa. Negritude was one of the first movements to occupy a pivotal role in the art/politics debate. The most effective forms of opposition to imperialism, at least in Africa, have absorbed the tendencies of both the radically popular and the avant-garde into a broad, flexible and resilient humanist tradition. This is the tradition that characterizes the liberation struggle of the ANC. Bibliogr., notes.