van Wolputte, S. and G. Verswijver
Title At the Fringes of Modernity
9075894627 / 9789075894622
Inventory number 003366
2005. 26cm. Pp.240. 51 BW photos, 3 maps, 1 table. Softbound.
Herding communities in Africa take up a 'special' place in modernist imagery. Once confined to the outskirts of the colonial land- and mindscape, nowadays they are found at the fringes of the contemporary nation-state: modernist discourse, quite literally, 'has no place' for herders and nomads.'At the Fringes of Modernity', a collection of five essays, focuses on cultural transformation, whether within the context of ritual or in that of resistance against (post)colonial rule. Like the first volume in this series, it advocates a social and cultural anthropology of the everyday, the common, the quotidian. It examines the way common people in eastern and southern Africa deal with violence and trauma, with development efforts (which, in the context of African pastoralism, are directed mainly towards famine relief and wildlife conservation), with the power exerted by a colonial regime aimed mainly at eradicating the basis and source of their life and livelihood, with the way they continuously re-invent their 'tradition' (and hence themselves) to overcome alienation and with the way they deal with animals and the sociology of gift and exchange.
These histories and subjectivities challenge ready-made and easy or common dichotomies such as oppression versus resistance, dominator versus dominated, powerful versus powerless, hegemony versus counter-hegemony, and so on. They highlight and contradict different aspects of experience, or are phrased from within a different mindset, epistemology or symbolic-metaphoric universe. At times, local actors deliberately inscribe themselves in (post)colonial discourse, at others they vehemently oppose it or simply defy or disengage from it.
9789075894622. At the Fringes of Modernity