EVENT: A Global Stage for the Ballets Africains: Imagining Nations in the Late Colonial State
5pm, Academic Block 2.01
When the Wind of Change blew, it carried on it strains of new musical forms and new cultural identities on the African continent. In particular, this paper will focus on the trajectory of Kéita Fodéba, a popular musician, poet, dramatist and latterly prominent member of the independent Guinean government. His experience reflects emergent trends during this period of profound negotiation, in which the terms of the ‘postcolonial’ world were established.
The creation of 'national culture' prefaced the imagining of communities outwith the colonial relationship. In part, the intention of this paper is to look at Fodéba as a key figure in the emergence of Guinean National Culture, but it is also to look at the way in which Fodéba played an important role (as per the work of Benedict Anderson) to help 'imagine' that National Culture and provide Guinea's independence movement with a renewed impetus beyond Marxist ideology and demands for political equality. Fodéba’s cultural work took place on a global stage, but interacted strongly with local and national themes. Analysing these connections and distinctions illuminates the tensions of the transnational in a vibrant colonial case study.