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Coetzee, Carli (2015) 'Review of 'Civic Agency in Africa: Arts of Resistance in the 21st Century' edited by Ebenezer Obadare and Wendy Willems.' Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 85 (2). pp. 371-372.

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The editors set out to challenge and complicate some of the ways in which academics, governments and NGOs think about agency, resistance and co-optation in the context of Africa. In their introduction, they write about the genesis of the project: Ebenezer Obadare’s interest in political jokes in Nigeria led him to reflect on the ways in which ordinary Nigerians “engage, deconstruct and wrestle with” the state. Humour, they write, is “an integral part of an array of stratagems … to recuperate dignity and selfhood amid the humiliations and savageries of everyday postcolonial life” (ixxx). The exciting contribution of this collection lies in the fact that the various authors engage with ways of theorising ordinariness and agency, without always assuming that African individuals are victims.

Item Type: Book Reviews
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa
ISSN: 00019720
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2015 17:53

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