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Urban Environments in AfricaA Critical Analysis of Environmental Politics$
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Garth Myers

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322917

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322917.001.0001

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The artists

The artists

Chapter:
(p.113) Four The artists
Source:
Urban Environments in Africa
Author(s):

Garth Myers

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447322917.003.0005

Since political artistic visions of urban environments come in many forms of art, it is totally impossible to do justice to the whole panoply. This chapter examines the visions of environments and environmentalism in art largely with novels, but extends in the end to popular music, and to a lesser extent institutions of the arts. The case study concentration lies with Dakar, as a city alive with visual, musical, performing, and written arts which have been influential around the world – and specifically with its satellite city of Pikine – as well as the environmental issues surrounding waste, water, and urban floods. Theoretically, the chapter utilizes work from the scholarly field of postcolonial ecocriticism, which analyzes ecologically sensitive writing from the global South. Postcolonial ecocriticism has the potential to be very helpful in furthering the interactionist framework for urban political ecology, as this chapter seeks to show in its reading of novels from Ayi Kwei Armah, Chris Abani, Nuruddin Farah, and, especially, Ousmane Sembene. The chapter offers an extended ecocritical reading of Sembene’s novel, God’s Bits of Wood, and discusses its legacies in contemporary hip-hop artists’ political-environmental activism in Dakar and Pikine.

Keywords:   dakar, postcolonial ecocriticism, ousmane sembene, hip hop

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