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Trash: African Cinema from Below [Hardcover]

Kenneth W. Harrow

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Book Description

Dec 1 2012

Highlighting what is melodramatic, flashy, low, and gritty in the characters, images, and plots of African cinema, Kenneth W. Harrow uses trash as the unlikely metaphor to show how these films have depicted the globalized world. Rather than focusing on topics such as national liberation and postcolonialism, he employs the disruptive notion of trash to propose a destabilizing aesthetics of African cinema. Harrow argues that the spread of commodity capitalism has bred a culture of materiality and waste that now pervades African film. He posits that a view from below permits a way to understand the tropes of trash present in African cinematic imagery.

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"Trash inspires a rigorous questioning of how we think about 'Africa from below' in our scholarly research: it is a speculative, probing, provocative book filled with questions about power, exclusion, representation, and subjectivity, and about how African cinema engages social realities without necessarily serving up palatable dishes of realism or political critique." —Journal of African History

"Reading these films in this manner becomes a metaphor of how one must understand African nations in a global context.... highly original and deeply historicized." —Frieda Ekotto, University of Michigan

"This book is a work of erudition, understanding, engagement, and enthusiastic committment to African cinema studies and literature.... Highly recommended." —Choice

About the Author

Kenneth W. Harrow is Distinguished Professor of English at Michigan State University. He is author of Postcolonial African Cinema: From Political Engagement to Postmodernism (IUP, 2007).

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