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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'We offer the whole of Africa here!': African curio traders and the marketing of a global African image in post-apartheid South African cities
Author:Wa Kabwe-Segatti, AureliaISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Volume:49
Issue:193-194
Pages:285-308
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Africa
Subjects:traders
immigrants
tourism
market vendors
crafts
images
Abstract:Based on a two-year fieldwork and interviews in and around Johannesburg, this paper contends that the emergence of 'African markets' in the post-apartheid urban landscapes filled the niches created by the production of commodified images of South Africa and, by extension, the continent. The analysis focuses on the creative process at work around the identification and multi-layered reading of a 'cosmopolitan' African identity by different groups of actors (South African municipal authorities, retail private actors and migrant traders). It tries to show how this process has fulfilled actors' immediate and contrasted needs but has not necessarily led to countering negative clichés on African migration in the long run. It thus tries to make use of the theoretical framework of the notion of ethnic entrepreneurship in its application to the South African context. The paper documents the practices and activities of the African curio trade in South African cities, the products sold, the trade networks and the imaginaries on which the perceptions of migrants, market managers and municipal councillors rely and in turn continue to fuel. After painting the specific cultural and political context of the South African tourism industry and offering a brief overview of the dissemination of new trade and migration networks towards and within South African cities, the paper finally unpacks the imagery of Africa that is conveyed to South Africans and international publics as well as its genealogy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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