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Gallagher, Julia, Mpere, Dennis Larbi and Ndjoré, Yah Ariane Bernadette (2021) 'State Aesthetics and State Meanings: Political Architecture In Ghana And Côte D’ivoire.' African Affairs, 120 (480). pp. 333-364.

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There is a striking difference between state buildings in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, and in how citizens living in each country’s capital city think and talk about them. In this article we explore the degree to which these buildings illustrate very different ideas of statehood in West Africa. We draw on art theories from West Africa to argue that architectural aesthetics rest on juxtapositions of beauty and the sublime and we suggest ways these help establish state meaning. We then apply our aesthetic approach to citizens’ evaluations of their state buildings in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and illustrate how differently the approach plays out, in Ghana where the state emerges as acclimatized and relatively robust and in Côte d’Ivoire where the state emerges as idealized and fragile.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, state, aesthetics, architecture, beauty, sublime
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 00019909
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2021 14:03
Funders: European Union

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