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FOUR Religious Modesty, Fashionable Glamour, and Cultural Text: Veiling in Senegal • LESLIE W. RABINE

Elisha P Renne Indiana University Press ePub

By its metamorphosis from austere religious symbol into fashionable adornment, the veil in Senegal illustrates the power of fashion to transform social polarization into dialogical process. This process began in the 1990s, when Islamic sects from Iran and Saudi Arabia, quite foreign to the Sufi brotherhoods that compose most of Senegalese Islam, gained a foothold among young people. Although the population of Senegal is 95 percent Muslim, Senegalese women have historically not worn Middle-Eastern-style veils. But for young women in the orthodox movements, hijab-style veils symbolized a “purer” form of Islam, in part as protest against a complex conjunction of historic forces. These included economic crisis, immense unemployment, out-of-control political corruption, and the post-colonial dominance of Western powers, as well as disillusionment with Sufi leaders. Through orthodox Islam, young people rebelled against the local “traditions” of their elders, and identified with a powerful anti-Western global movement (Augis 2009:217–219).

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5 • Origin and Meaning of a Revival Painting Tradition

Melissa R. Kerin Indiana University Press ePub

With stylistic connections made between the Gyapagpa Temple paintings and the larger Ngari style of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, this chapter will address the origin of this style, its shifting significations, and the multiple ways in which it has been used and interpreted. Central to this discussion is my argument that this late medieval painting tradition is in fact a revival of the eleventh-century style from the same area. A review of the scant scholarship about fifteenth-century painting traditions of Mnga’ ris (Ngari) reveals that scholars have differing opinions about this subject. A critical dichotomy surfaces, which tends to present the later Ngari painting tradition as either a continuation of the eleventh-century style or as a separate style altogether. This difference between these positions is a critical one. Based on analyses of both visual and textual evidence, I argue that the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century painting style was indeed a separate style, which was a revival of the eleventh-century Khache painting tradition. I suggest further that the fifteenth-century resuscitation of this older painting style is reflective of the Guge kingdom’s objective to fashion itself as a continuation of the former dynasty. In so doing the later kingdom is communicating an ideological message about its connection to, and continuity with, its predecessor of the eleventh century. Based on this hypothesis, we can understand the fifteenth-century painting style as a carefully constructed visual system that worked to signify the fifteenth-century kingdom’s legitimacy and legacy through its association with the eleventh-century dynasty.

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Medium 9780253015754

5. Nollywood’s Progeny: Stardom and the Politics of Youth Empowerment

Noah A. Tsika Indiana University Press ePub

5

Once Oge Okoye had achieved star status, producers worked to solidify her specific star qualities by casting her in a series of similarly themed films. That, of course, is partly how Nollywood’s star system functions—through a process of conscious accretion. Indeed, film roles tend to multiply in ways that recall one another, inviting consumers to see something old in something new—something familiar and comforting in something fresh and untested. Casting the same singular star in even the most divergent of roles offers obvious corporeal and affective similarities, creating a complex creative fabric—an iconic through-line connecting narrative experimentation. “Stars are the product of intertextuality,” writes Gaylyn Studlar. “Their reception by audiences is produced by a succession of textual sources as well as by extratextual ones such as advertising and publicity.”1 That is as true for Nollywood as it is for Studlar’s subject, the Hollywood studio system. Discourses of craft and authenticity dictate that Okoye could only play Lady Gaga after having first cut her teeth on similarly driven characters, but according to the basic market logic of stardom, such a casting choice was all but inevitable: Okoye had already donned a series of Gaga-style wigs and dresses in public as well as in her previous films about the search for superstardom (such as Show Girls), and she had long since demonstrated a willingness to explore her own androgyny on screen. Her past roles and complex public persona thus comprised her audition for Lady Gaga, as the film’s producers have themselves suggested. Simply “being Oge” was better—more convincing—than any formal screen test.

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Medium 9780253353801

3 Dudespeak: Or, How to Bowl like a Pornstar

Edward P Comentale Indiana University Press ePub

Justus Nieland

What condition is the Dude’s linguistic condition in? Obviously, it’s fucked. But how? We might start with the fact that the Dude’s language, more often than not, is not his own, but a stoned mimesis of the phrase making of others. Dudespeak is mimicry, a compulsive borrowing from the stylized tissue of verbiage whose repetitions, loopings, and displacements constitute the film’s linguistic world. Examples abound: “This aggression will not stand, man”; “Her life was in our hands, man”; “In the parlance of our times, you know”; “Johnson?”; “You mean, coitus?”; “Beaver? You mean vagina?” All are citations, increasingly absurd sound bites whose discrepant reappearance in other contexts becomes so much linguistic grist for the Coens’ comic mill. Even what has come to be the Dude’s signature phrase, the linguistic encapsulation of an ethos—“The Dude abides”—is a rescripting of the purported limits of Jeffrey “the Big” Lebowski’s tolerance, his refusal to “abide another toe.” So, while the Dude, “quite possibly the laziest man in Los Angeles County,” may be prone to such mimetic locutions, Dudespeak exemplifies the broader expressive world of the film: “sometimes there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place, he fits right in there . . . and that’s the Dude, in Los Angeles.”

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SEVEN Invoking Hijab: The Power Politics of Spaces and Employment in Nigeria • HAUWA MAHDI

Elisha P Renne Indiana University Press ePub

The fact that changes in dress styles are taking place in Nigeria reflects perhaps the normal processes of change which occur in all societies. Yet these transformations, at both the macro-national and micro levels, differ as each reflects a unique experience. In Nigeria, women’s dress has increasingly become an object of contention at the macro level, more so in the last three decades than it had in previous years. State actors and some civil society organizations (CSOs) alike have become active in the discourse of and attempts to legislate how women should or should not behave as a moral imperative. In 2007, Senator Ufot Eme Ekaette, one of only nine women in the 109-member Senate chamber of the National Assembly, gained some notoriety for her proposed bill, which in the light of Nigerians’ penchant for nicknames soon became known as the Nudity Bill (Adaramola 2008). There are other politicians who share the title of morality police with Ekaette. The senator and former governor of Zamfara State Ahmed Sani introduced the death penalty on sexual offences during his governorship, on 27 January 2000. (He later went on to enhance his moral authority by his marriage to an Egyptian girl in her early teens.) Second, some twenty-six senators (two of whom are women) sponsored the Same-Sex Bill, which prohibits sexual relations and marriage among same-sex partners in Nigeria (Obende et al. 2011). In all these morality bills female and male senators of all backgrounds have come together without a sectarian—religious or ethnic—hitch. In the last thirty years, an era of increasing economic hardship in Nigeria, women have been blamed for anything from droughts to a rise in delinquency among children. Public discourse in the media is filled with debates and arguments that support curtailing women’s rights and freedom, often in the name of religion or tradition. The “Nudity Bill” and other morality legislation must be seen in the context of the general social disorder in Nigeria and attempts by the political elite to grope for answers to unfulfilled yearnings for basic human rights and demands for “progress,” particularly in such things as the provision of electricity and running water.

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