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Penpoints, Gunpoints, and DreamsTowards a Critical Theory of the Arts and the State in Africa$
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Ngugi wa Thiongʼo

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183907

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183907.001.0001

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Concluding Note

Concluding Note

(p.129) Concluding Note
Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams

Ngũgĩ Wa Thiongʼo

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter describes the artist's response to the power of the state and to the challenges of interpretation. Writers have no real choices other than to align themselves with the people and articulate their deepest yearnings and struggles for real change. Where the state silences, art should give voice to silence. Where, for instance, there is no democracy for the rest of the population, there cannot be democracy for the writer. Hence, it is obligatory for writers in Africa and the world over to keep on fighting with the rest of the population to strengthen civil society, expressed in the capacity for self-organization, against encroachments by the state.

Keywords:   artist, state, writers, art, democracy

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