POST AFRICAN FUTURES: Decoloniality and Actional Methodologies in Art and Cultural Practices in African Cultures of Technology
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis addresses the presence and role of critical aesthetic practices by cultural practitioners and creative technologists in addressing cultures of technology in contemporary African societies. Nairobi and Johannesburg are used as primary case studies through which a closer understanding of these unique cultures of technology are unpacked.
The learning established from the findings of the cases is applied to understanding the concerns of cultures of technology within these and other African contexts. In this, attention is placed on latent neo-colonialism found in the relationship between African cultures and the networked global information economy being led by technology practices.
This research starts by responding to a paucity of prior investigation in the field, and thereby aims to identify an ontological framework for Africa’s cultural engagement with technology. The primary research is preceded by an introductory chapter that draws on African knowledge theory and a critique of historical scholarship that exists on African experiences with technology. The primary research is predicated on this critical framework and uses it as a foundation from which to address concerns around contemporary digital and communications technologies and an African cultural encounter with a networked and globalised system.
Due to the paucity around scholarship on Africa within this field, the methodological approach evolved as an iterative development between theoretical and empirical research. This methodological development was informed by the theory of decolonising methodologies and was led by culturally responsive methods. Through thematic content analysis of the fieldwork, the identification of key themes impacted the theoretical framing of the research. Not only were new concerns identified, but particular aesthetic mechanisms became apparent in the practices of those interviewed. These brought to light the importance of decolonising methodologies within a cultural practice. This importance led to the development of a responsive exhibition, also titled Post African Futures. The exhibition was held at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg in May 2015.
Post African Futures as both a framework and an exhibition is central to this thesis’s contribution of new knowledge. This exhibition develops the propositions of the primary research and is therefore instrumental in strengthening a context-sensitive critical position that affords Africans the privilege of contributing to and providing insight into a globalised technology culture and its futures in relation to regions in Africa.