Cover image for The short century : independence and liberation movements in Africa, 1945-1994
The short century : independence and liberation movements in Africa, 1945-1994
Enwezor, Okwui.
Publication Information:
Munich ; New York : Prestel, [2001]

Physical Description:
496 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 30 cm
General Note:
Catalog of an exhibition organized by the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NX587 .S46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
NX587 .S46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



For much of Africa the 20th century was overshadowed by the experience of colonial rule, with political independence arriving for most peoples only in the last fifty years. The Short Century is a broad survey of cultural life in Africa from the independence movements through the post-colonial era to the end of apartheid in 1994. Expansive, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated, this book studies achievements in all areas of the performing and fine arts, photography, literature, theater, architecture, music, and film.

The Short Century includes the works of over 50 artists from the paintings of Mancoba and Sekoto during the fifties, through the drawings and theater projects of William Kentridge up to the installations and video works of Kay Hassan and Oladele A. Bamgboye.

The great writers of the continent -- Soyinka, Senghor, and Cesaire amongst others --, Africa's filmmakers, architects and musicians, all of whom left their mark on the process of decolonialization, are studied here in depth. Renowned historians and cultural philosophers discuss the background of developments and analyse the ideological strategies employed by Western colonial powers to preserve their grip on African countries and peoples. A chapter on photojournalism supplemented by a detailed chronology of events and political movements presents the main stages of Africa's political history. A comprehensive anthology in the appendix contains some 30 historical documents, such as essays, speeches and political manifestos, shedding light on the key issues of the period.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Enwezor, a Nigerian critic, publisher, and adjunct curator of contemporary art at the Art Institute of Chicago, has assembled a synthesis of the cultural and political record of Africa from 1945 to 1994. The book provides a glimpse into the writings and ideologies that shaped the continent's history and life during the period. With essays, studies, speeches, manifestos, and photographs, the collection examines the impact of the colonial experience on Africa's fine and applied arts. A chronological list of key events and brief biographies of the most influential personalities are provided in the appendix. The volume provides a unique and sincere representation of the cultural and historical quandaries of the entire continent. It also attempts a comprehensive discussion of African modernity. Few single works can boast of coverage as ambitious in breadth and exhaustive in depth. A valuable addition to any public or academic library's collection. Edward K. Owusu-Ansah, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Okwui EnwezorValentin Y. MudimbeMahmood MamdaniChika OkekeMarilyn MartinUlli BeierJohn PictonLauri FirstenbergRory BesterGwendolyn WrightNnamdi EllehWolfgang BenderJohn Conteh-MorganMaishe MaponyaObiora UdechukwuChinweizuMark NashManthia Diawara
Prefacep. 7
Lendersp. 8
Forewordp. 9
The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994 An Introductionp. 10
The Surreptitious Speechp. 17
Beyond Settler and Native as Political Identities: Overcoming the Political Legacy of Colonialismp. 21
Modern African Artp. 29
Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994p. 37
A Moment of Hope: Cultural Developments in Nigeria before the First Military Coupp. 45
Platesp. 50
Colonial Pretense and African Resistance, or Subversion Subverted: Commemorative Textiles in Sub-Saharan Africap. 159
Platesp. 163
Postcoloniality, Performance, and Photographic Portraiturep. 175
Platesp. 180
City and Citizenshipp. 219
The Ambiguous Modernisms of African Citiesp. 225
Architecture and Nationalism in Africa, 1945-1994p. 234
Platesp. 246
Independence, Highlife, Liberation Wars: Lagos 1950s and 1960sp. 279
Platesp. 286
Theater and the Performance of the Nation in Africap. 303
The Anatomy of Resistance in South African Theaterp. 308
Interview with Chinua Achebep. 314
The Weapon of Culture: Negritude Literature and the Making of Neocolonial Africap. 320
Platesp. 326
The Modernity of African Cinemap. 339
African Cinema and Decolonizationp. 346
Platesp. 352
Anthologyp. 364
Kwame Nkrumahp. 365
Patrice Lumumbap. 367
Sekou Tourep. 369
Kwame Anthony Appiahp. 372
Gamal Abdel Nasserp. 382
Nelson Mandelap. 382
Frantz Fanonp. 385
Amilcar Cabralp. 393
Leopold Sedar Senghorp. 396
Julius Nyererep. 410
Alioune Diopp. 413
Rajat Neogyp. 416
Njabulo Ndebelep. 417
Jean-Paul Sartrep. 421
Aime Cesairep. 429
Ben Enwonwup. 434
Wole Soyinkap. 435
Jean Rouch/Ousmane Sembenep. 440
Manifestos and Resolutionsp. 441
Chronologyp. 462
Biographiesp. 470
List of Worksp. 482
Indexp. 492
Acknowledgmentsp. 495