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The African Metropolis and the aesthetics of superfluity

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Drawing on Achille Mbembe’s idea of superfluity as both quantity and a paradoxical hybrid of indispensability and expendability in a city’s life, this article maps out possible relations between aesthetics and politics, aiming to understand the often contradictory spectrum of cultural and artistic production in an urban context. Looking at recent negotiations of the African Metropolis in media culture, the article not only attempts to describe artistic practices as preoccupied with conspicuous spectacle but also to come to grips with a contemporary aesthetics that itself imagines the African Metropolis in a hysterical way, obsessed with thrills and a rush for the rush.
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Keywords: aesthetics; film studies; media studies; political philosophy; postcolonial studies; urban geography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Bayreuth

Publication date: 01 April 2018

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  • The Journal of African Cinemas will explore the interactions of visual and verbal narratives in African film. It recognizes the shifting paradigms that have defined and continue to define African cinemas. Identity and perception are interrogated in relation to their positions within diverse African film languages. The editors are seeking papers that expound on the identity or identities of Africa and its peoples represented in film.
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