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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mourning and melancholia at the Harare International Festival of the Arts
Author:Piotrowska, AgnieszkaISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies (ISSN 1751-7974)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
performing arts
culture contact
Abstract:This article has a twofold purpose: first, it looks at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) as a site of mourning and melancholia, a phrase that was first used by Sigmund Freud in his seminal paper and which was reformulated more recently by a postcolonial scholar, Ranjana Khanna. The author suggests that unconscious mechanisms, which are expressions of loss on the part of both black and white Zimbabweans, are acted out in the festival. In particular, on the part of white Zimbabweans it might be an expression of the so-called 'white alienation' experienced after the loss of domination. Second, it looks at assertions of a feminist academic, Sara Ahmed, who claims in her book 'Embodied Strangers' that it is difficult, if at all possible, to circumvent the embodied and cultural context of an encounter between a representative of a western culture and the Other. The author presents a case study of the opening show at HIFA 2011, which seems to confirm this theory. The author also suggests that it might be possible to subvert this expected narrative through a Winnicottian notion of a space for creativity and play. The author looks at two different examples of such encounters and cites the poem by Charmaine Mujeri in which she describes her hybrid identity. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]