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Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams – Towards a Critical Theory of the Arts and the State in Africa | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams: Towards a Critical Theory of the Arts and the State in Africa

Ngugi wa Thiongʼo


This book explores the relationship between art and political power in society, taking as its starting point the experience of writers in contemporary Africa, where they are often seen as the enemy of the postcolonial state. This study, in turn, raises the wider issues of the relationship between the state of art and the art of the state, particularly in their struggle for the control of performance space in territorial, temporal, social, and even psychic contexts. The book calls for the alliance of art and people power and freedom and dignity against the encroachments of modern states. Art, i ... More

Keywords: art, political power, Africa, postcolonial state, state of art, art of the state, people power, freedom, dignity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1998 Print ISBN-13: 9780198183907
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183907.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ngugi wa Thiongʼo, author
New York University; playwright, novelist, and critic.