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Publications II/2020

De Groof, Matthias: "Lumumba in the Arts"Hide

Lumumba as a symbol of decolonisation and as an icon in the arts

It is no coincidence that a historical figure such as Patrice Emery Lumumba, independent Congo’s first prime minister, who was killed in 1961, has lived in the realm of the cultural imaginary and occupied an afterlife in the arts. After all, his project remained unfinished and his corpse unburied. The figure of Lumumba has been imagined through painting, photography, cinema, poetry, literature, theatre, music, sculpture, fashion, cartoons and stamps, and also through historiography and in public space. No art form has been able to escape and remain indifferent to Lumumba. Artists observe the memory and the unresolved suffering that inscribed itself both upon Lumumba’s body and within the history of Congo. If Lumumba – as an icon – lives on today, it is because the need for decolonisation does as well.

Rather than seeking to unravel the truth of actual events surrounding the historical Lumumba, this book engages with his representations. What is more, it considers every historiography as inherently embedded in iconography. Film scholars, art critics, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists discuss the rich iconographic heritage inspired by Lumumba. Furthermore, Lumumba in the Arts offers unique testimonies by a number of artists who have contributed to Lumumba's polymorphic iconography, such as Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans, Raoul Peck, and Tshibumba Kanda Matulu, and includes contributions by such highly acclaimed scholars as Johannes Fabian, Bogumil Jewsiewicky, and Elikia M’Bokolo.

ISBN 9789462701748, paperback, 19,5 x 28,5 cm, 464 p., English

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Nene, Morisho; Kalubi, Josepha; Park, Sung-Joon; Doevenspeck, Martin: "Same but Different? A Comparison of Ebola ...Hide

Nene, Morisho; Kalubi, Josepha; Park, Sung-Joon; Doevenspeck, Martin: "Same but Different? A Comparison of Ebola Virus Disease and Covid-19 After the Ebola Epidemic in Eastern DRC (2018–20)"

In February 2020, we were still following the case numbers of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic in North Kivu, Eastern Congo, which by then were finally coming down. At the same time, we were also following the news of the Covid-19 pandemic which had spread within China and thereafter in Europe and in the US. By then, most African governments, just as those in Europe or the US weeks before, were still seeing it as a distant problem and no measures had been taken in preparation.

On March 3, the last patient with the Ebola was discharged in North Kivu Province, the epidemic having lasted more than two years. On March 10, the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Kinshasa. It took two weeks for the authorities to take a firm decision to lock down the city, prohibit mobility between the capital and other provinces, and ban access to Congolese territory for any international flight. Panic set in for most Congolese citizens who felt they had never experienced such a global crisis before.

Moving from one crisis to the next raises the question: what can be learned from the Ebola epidemic for the Covid-19 pandemic? Are inhabitants of the most affected regions better prepared for Covid-19? Will the lessons learnt from the Ebola epidemic help citizens in the entire country to adapt to the new pandemic too? What are the similarities and differences between these two epidemics or pandemic?

Nene, Morisho; Kalubi, Josepha; Park, Sung-Joon; Doevenspeck, Martin: "Same but Different? A Comparison of Ebola Virus Disease and Covid-19 After the Ebola Epidemic in Eastern DRC (2018–20)". In: African Arguments

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Ouma, Stefan: "Farming as Financial Asset: Global Finance and the Making of Institutional Landscapes"Hide

Ouma, Stefan: "Farming as Financial Asset: Global Finance and the Making of Institutional Landscapes"

Since the global financial crisis, the world has seen a stark rise in financial investment in farming and agricultural production. Indeed, finance has been identified as one of the main causes of the so-called “global land rush”. In a world with a growing population that needs to be fed, the financial returns from agriculture are sold as safe bets. The debate that this has prompted has been frequently alarmist, with financiers blamed for rising land prices, corporate enclosures, the dispossession of smallholder farmers and the expansion of large-scale industrial agriculture.

Stefan Ouma speaks to these concerns via an ethnographic journey through the agrifocused asset management industry. His penetrating analysis of case studies taken from New Zealand and Tanzania allows him to put global finance “in place”, bringing into view the flesh-and-blood institutions, globespanning social relations, everyday practices and place-based value struggles that are often absent in broad-brushed narratives on the “financialization of agriculture”. The book closes with a key question for the Anthropocene: which form of finance for which kind of food future?

OUMA, S., 2020. FARMING AS FINANCIAL ASSET. AGENDA PUBLISHING, S.l.


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Sabbi, Matthew; Doumbia, Lamine; Neubert, Dieter: "Dynamics of Everyday Life within Municipal Administrations ...Hide

Sabbi, Matthew; Doumbia, Lamine; Neubert, Dieter: "Dynamics of Everyday Life within Municipal Administrations in Francophone and Anglophone Africa"

Decentralisation in sub-Saharan Africa promises to build responsive institutions, hold officials to account and promote popular participation. Still, existent studies ignore the everyday interface between decentralised structures and citizens, as well as how decentralised institutions function in relation to their local contexts and other “authorities” on the margins. These contexts shape service provision and the impact of local power structures on local communities. Against this backdrop, our conference in Dakar, Senegal, on “Dynamics of Everyday Life within Municipal Administrations in Francophone and Anglophone Africa,” which took place in May 2019, demonstrated three key points of interest: namely, how actors within local bureaucracies interface with those who are outside; how ordinary citizens appropriate the bureaucratic techniques of the state and how these actors negotiate and adapt to the daily practices of municipal administrations. In general, decentralisation is not simply implemented, rather, it creates new frameworks and spaces for both formal and informal public action.

Sabbi, M., Doumbia, L., Neubert, D., 2020. Dynamics of Everyday Life within Municipal Administrations in Francophone and Anglophone Africa. Africa Spectrum 000203972091463. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002039720914630

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