Chapter in book

Capturing Nature

Research Areas

Publication Details

Subtitle: Eco-Justice in African Art

Author list: Makhubu N

Editor list: Demos T. J., Scott Emily Eliza, Banerjee Subhankar

Edition name or number: First Edition

Publisher: Routledge

Place: New York and London

Publication year: 2021

Start page: 283

End page: 294

Total number of pages: 12

ISBN: 978-0-367-22110-2

eISBN: 9780429321108



Senghor’s cultural policy established a visual aesthetic of African “essence” as akin to nature, reflecting the ubiquity of primitivist styles. Curiously, however, primitivism was mainly a European invention that decontextualized African art in fashioning Euro-American Modern art. Moreover, primitivism in the broader negritude movement and philosophy conversely affirmed senses of belonging and anti-colonial reclamation in “returning to one’s native land,” to use the title of Aime Cesaire’s poem “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal”. Technological, futurist capitalist developments are seen as part of the annihilation and devouring of “nature.” Portraying technology as a disruptive force but also as integral to “nature-as-culture,” the Congolese contemporary artist Maurice Mbikayi conceptualized the techno-dandy—a roaming hermetical figure, a dandy revealing the effects of electronic waste dumping. Although this particular work is located in a South African township, Mbikayi’s oeuvre is a response to the dumping of electronic waste in African countries, specifically the DRC, by international companies.


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Community ecology, Culture

Last updated on 2021-01-03 at 22:54