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Decolonizing Islamic Art in Africa

New Approaches to Muslim Expressive Cultures

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This collection explores the dynamic place of Muslim visual and expressive culture in processes of decolonization across the African continent. Presenting new methodologies for accentuating African agency and expression in the stories we tell about Islamic art, it likewise contributes to recent widespread efforts to “decolonize” the art historical canon.

The contributors to this volume explore the dynamic place of Islamic art, architecture, and creative expression in processes of decolonization across the African continent in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Bringing together new work by leading specialists in the fields of African, Islamic, and modern arts and visual cultures, the book directs unprecedented attention to the agency and contributions of African and Muslim artists in articulating modernities in local and international arenas. Interdisciplinary and transregional in scope, it enriches the under-told story of Muslim experiences and expression on the African continent, home to nearly half a million Muslims, or a third of the global Muslim population.

Furthermore, it elucidates the role of Islam and its expressive cultures in post-colonial articulations of modern identities and heritage, as expressed by a diverse range of actors and communities based in Africa and its diaspora; as such, the book counters notions of Islam as a retrograde or static societal phenomenon in Africa or elsewhere. Contributors propose new methodologies for accentuating human agency and experience over superficial disciplinary boundaries in the stories we tell about art-making and visual expression, thus contributing to widespread efforts to decolonize scholarship on histories of modern expression.


Related Topics: Cultural Studies ; Visual Arts

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