1467 Chapters
Medium 9780253012296

10 Modeling Modernity: The Brief Story of Kwame Nkrumah, a Nazi Pilot Named Hanna, and the Wonders of Motorless Flight

PETER JASON BLOOM Indiana University Press ePub

  Jean Allman

On 18 May 1963, a ceremony of much international pomp and spectacle took place near the small village of Afienya, about fifteen kilometers from Accra, the capital of Ghana.1 The ceremony marked the opening of the newly independent nation’s first gliding school. In attendance were members of the international press corps, German and Ghanaian dignitaries, ambassadors from most of the foreign missions in Ghana, chiefs and their advisors, and representatives from the Young Pioneers, the ruling Convention People’s Party’s youth group. The German Ambassador, on behalf of the West German government, presented a glider, christened Akroma [the hawk], to President Kwame Nkrumah, who, in turn, “dedicated the glider to the youth of Ghana and wished all those who would fly in it ‘many hours of enjoyment, recreation and spiritual upliftment.’”2 As a Ghana newsreel reported live, spectators were then treated to a “magnificent aerobatic display” by the woman responsible for the establishment of the school, “that famous German airpilot Flight Captain Hanna Reitsch.” After she landed, Reitsch was congratulated by Nkrumah and his wife, Madame Fathia. “With the establishment of a national gliding school,” the newsreel continued, “one can be sure that the youth will pick up the challenge and head for the sky.”3

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253012296

3 Film as Instrument of Modernization and Social Change in Africa: The Long View

PETER JASON BLOOM Indiana University Press ePub

Rosaleen Smyth

In this chapter I will ground the theme of modernization in sub-Saharan Africa in its authentic historical context by demonstrating its colonial roots. The central focus will be the efforts made to use film as an instrument of modernization and development communication. In doing so I will turn the current academic orthodoxy on its head. Development communication did not have “its origins in postwar international aid programs,” which were in turn “derived from theories of development and social change that identified the main problems of the post-war world in terms of a lack of development or progress equivalent to Western countries,” as stated in a 2001 report to the Rockefeller Foundation (Waisbord 2001). On the contrary, starting in the 1920s ideas about using mass media as a means of changing mindsets from “traditional” to “modern” and encouraging the adoption of new methods of agriculture and healthcare, among other techniques, were being explored and experimented with in Britain’s African colonies. This was long before the hatching of modernization and development communication theories in American universities and research institutes were in the heat of postwar reconstruction and enshrined in Daniel Lerner’s The Passing of Traditional Society (1958), Wilbur Schramm’s Mass Media and National Development (1964), and David McLelland’s The Achieving Society (1961). These works were published to great acclaim at the height of the Cold War. And, what is more, it was not just the British colonial administration acting in isolation; even then it was acting in concert with international entities including the aforesaid Rockefeller Foundation.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253012296

15 Between Nationalism and Pan-Africanism: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Theater and the Art and Politics of Modernizing African Culture

PETER JASON BLOOM Indiana University Press ePub

  Aida Mbowa

None of these cultures can be conceived as anthropologically independent or autonomous, rather, they are all in various distinct ways locked in a life-and-death struggle with first-world cultural imperialism—a cultural struggle that is itself a reflection of the economic situation of such areas in their penetration by various stages of capital, or as it is sometimes euphemistically termed, of modernization.

—Frederic Jameson (1986)

Modernization was an important and guiding philosophy on how best to build the newly formed nation-state in post-independence Africa. Modernization encapsulated more than the matter of industrialization and infrastructure. It also incorporated cultural efforts to bolster the psychology of the formerly colonized. Significant objectives for cultural politicians to achieve under the rubric of modernization included how to empower citizens, how to facilitate pride and allegiance to the nation-state, and how to overcome divisions or in some instances maintain ethnic specificity while facilitating national unity. The arts in general, and performance arts in particular, were a key method through which to disseminate the ideologies geared toward engendering modern subjects. The arts disseminated modernist ideologies through the artistic productions they offered their spectators who were engaging in the consumption of cultural products.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253007445

8. Opening the Distribution of the Sensible: Kimberly Rivers and Trouble the Water

Kenneth W. Harrow Indiana University Press ePub

What does trash look like? It depends on where you stand when you are looking: the site of enunciation as site of subjectivity. If standpoint epistemology requires us to see the world through the eyes of oppressed women, what would a trashy epistemology look like?

Feminist standpoint epistemology calls for social change and activism based on seeing and understanding the world through the eyes and experiences of oppressed women—women treated like trash and called trashy. The common language focuses on what signifies the lack of value in material terms as well as figuratively.

Trash is what is discarded, what one averts one’s gaze from, what repels and stinks, what is the last resort for people who have nothing, what animals scavenge through, what people who become scavengers rely upon as their last resort, so it is the last resort for those who are last. It is also collected and abjected to the edges of town, to the margins of society, to the borders of our consciousness. It is, in film, associated with melodrama and Nollywood, genres that persist in returning for popular audiences, for “common” taste, to commercial cinemas that refuse the rejections of the scions of culture.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416541

19. The New “Marshall”

David S. Turk University of North Texas Press ePub

See All Chapters