This book is a significant addition to a growing body of scholarship on popular culture s role in mediating contemporary life and power relations in Africa. The book is a demonstration that popular cultural productions are not fixed to an unchanging social category as the basis for their creation, but are defined by mobility of ideas, creative borrowing and improvisation. It deals with popular media, ranging from inscriptions on matatu (taxis) to cartoon strips and fiction columns in newspapers. If cartoon strips and humour columns in popular periodicals provide alternative sites of expression in a fast-evolving socio-cultural formation, then the matatu discourses signal a radical avant-garde African cultural expression. The book also provides a compelling reading of how urban legends, rumours and jokes proliferate alongside pop music to express a sub-culture that is at once a critique and a celebration of modernity and its fragments. It draws attention to the evolution of popular music at different historical moments in East Africa and locates the verve of vernacular discourses as a dominant factor in the artistes creative geniuses, while pointing to how this music has melded with other external influences. Of major interest in this volume is how the more recent output of popular fiction has been fuelled by the effect of HIV/AIDS, giving credence to the fact that popular literature and culture feeds off topical issues of the day. Urban Legends, Colonial Myths is the most comprehensive study of popular literature in East Africa to date. It brings together some of the best students and scholars of the popular imagination in Africa who, with theoretical sophistication and a keen sense of cultural history, provide insights into the production of forms of expression that have been central to understanding what it means to be African in the modern world. In the world of popular artists, a new Africa has been in the making for the last fifty years, and here we have a.
Paperback: 346 pages
Publisher: Africa World Press, Inc.; 1st edition (January 23, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.6 x 8.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces