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Showing posts from August, 2017

C is for culture. C is for civilisation. C is for colonialism

I’m currently reading Robert Young’s Colonial desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race and I’ve been taking pictures of interesting excerpts which are making me rethink culture. Thus far (I’m still reading the book) I’m beginning to wonder how Africans thought about difference amongst different groups of people before the catastrophe of Western/European colonialism.
These thoughts have led me back to Prof Archie Mafeje’s paper The ideology of tribalism where he makes an argument questioning the origins of the word tribe and how it came to be accepted that ‘tribalism’ is a part of the African experience (in anthropology in particular). He begins the paper with the statement: Few authors have been able to write on Africa without making constant reference to 'tribalism'. This suggests that tribalism has become to be an essential part of how we describe Africa and make sense of the differences amongst different people in Africa. Mafeje continues by posing the questions: Could t…