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Re-imagining Africa : past in the present


20 octobre 2023
De 10h à 13h

OÙ :
Campus Condorcet,
Salle 3.122
Bât. de Recherche Sud,

As noted by few scholars, from the 1990s - and in some places even before – "new religious entrepreneurs” have been proliferating south of Sahara. Fully integrated into the market economy and often present on social networks, firmly rooted in (post-)modernity, while transforming and adapting more ancient practices to today’s format and expectations, such specialists often advocate for the “back to the roots” move and engage in re-imaging of African identities and traditions. Such re-imaging is also at stake in many artistic productions and practices both within the continent and in its diasporas, where the decolonial usages of the past multiply. It often involves an essentialization of certain time-spaces - emblematic "ethnic groups", such as the Dogons, or moments in history, especially those pertaining to the pre-colonial states such as kingdom of Congo, for example. It results in the reconfiguration of fragmentary and decontextualized elements intervening in the production of simulacra or complex images of the past created in order to cope with the present and construct a better future. The workshop proposes a closer look at three case-studies or examples of such re-appropriations of the past of within the contemporary contexts, analyzed through a comparative perspective.

 Heike Becker ; Department of Anthropology, University of the Western Cape
‘Ounona’ - Dolls and ancestral voices in the art work of Tuli Mekondjo : Reimagining African gender and spirituality

 Sergio González Varela, University of Warsaw, Pologne
Representations of Africa in Afro-Brazilian Capoeira : Foundational Mythical Discourses in a Ritual Practice

 Agnès Kedzierska Manzon, EPHE – PSL/ IMAF
Re-imaging Religion in Africa : Kemet, ancestors and global New Age