Cultural Production and Change in Kenya
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: African Books Collective
The Art, Culture and Society series brings together important reflections on the arts in Kenya. It is a major step in encouraging dialogue on the relationship between creativity and the human condition. Volume I is a consideration of cultural productions and social change in Kenya. Creativity...
Part One: Music
1. Music, Identity and Swahili Networks of Knowledge
The multicultural nature of Swahili identity has consistently defied any attempts to categorize the Swahili into a distinct ethnic or tribal group. In Kenya today, however, they have had to struggle to be part of a nation-state where ethnic identity is publicly amplified to fit a system that rewards ethnic...
2. Joseph Kamaru: Contending Narrations of Kenya's Politics Through Music
While discussing Gikuyu popular music in postcolonial Kenya, a detailed study of musician Joseph Kamaru is almost unavoidable. Through an analysis of his songs, which touch on most facets of everyday life in Kenya, Kamaru also demonstrates how popular songs are webs of ambiguity, which can support...
3. "'Is Marwa!' It's Ours": Popular music and Identity Politics in Kenyan Youth Culture
Intended to serve as a rallying point for patriotism, the import of the slogan cited above, and issued by the Public Communications Office, formed a subject of intense contestation between July and September 2006. A national debate emerged around two issues...
Part Two: Youth
4. Kenyan Youth and the Entropic Destruction of a Hopeful Social Order
There is a fascinating phenomenon manifest in the reaction one gets from a lot of friends and relatives alike upon coming back to the home country if one has spent a couple of years in the West. On the one hand, it is the excitement of welcoming a returnee, but on the other, it is the disillusionment...
5. Behind Bars: Ngugi, Women, and the Rite/Right of Passage
This Chapter attempts a reading of Ngugi’s treatment of Wanja of Petals of Blood (1977) within the gender dynamics of Gikuyu culture. It problematises his notable ambivalence towards his women- in-transition, as they negotiate status from well-established cultural...
6. Mchongoano Verbal Duels: Risky Discourse and Sociocultural Commentary
Mchongoano is a ritualized genre of verbal duel popular with the Kenya youth where one antagonist insults another or members of his/her family. Though ritualized, the topics involved mark it as a risky discourse that oscillates between verbal play and aggressive slurs depending on the context and...
7. Sports and Games in Kenya and their Role in Society
The Collins English Dictionary describes society as “a system of human organizations generating distinctive cultural patterns and institutions and usually providing protection, security, continuity, and a national identity for its members” (Sinclair, 1994 p.1, 466). This definition clearly implies...
8. Building Bridges through Trichotomous Youth Identities in Kenya: Evidence from Code Choice
This chapter illustrates how the youth in Kenya build bridges in their language use. It argues that the youth are stakeholders in reversing the polarised political and inter-ethnic relations in the country. Besides engaging in debates of national cohesion and pulling...
Part Three: Electronic Media
9. Reading FM Radio Stations in Kenya: Opening a Pandora's Box
According to Debra Spitulnik (1993:293), it is only recently that anthropologists have struggled to define what falls within the legitimate realm of the study of a “culture” and within the privileged purview of a “discipline.” This has in turn generated a dramatic interest in the study of mass...
Part Four: Art and Space
10. The Story of the Godown Arts Centre: A Journey to Freedom through the Arts
While it is too soon to properly locate the GoDown Arts Centre within a cultural/historical framework, the centre has, nevertheless, in its brief existence from concept to reality over the last four years had several salient experiences along the way, which foretell its potential and influence...
11. Art and Health Promotion: Creativity against HIV ad AIDS
Geoffrey Cowley (Newsweek, 8 December, 2003) tells a story about how cartoons and soap operas are being used across the world to promote public health. A muppet, Kami, was used to tell the story of HIV positive children in South Africa and to fight stigma. The five year old HIV positive...
Part Five: Leadership
12. Reflections on Intellectual Life and Knowing as a Problem in Alamin Mazrui's Shadows of the Moon
In a recent article in the Daily Nation, controversial Sudanese scholar Taban Lo Liyong berates preeminent Kenyan scholar Ali Mazrui for holding that the intellectual is someone who is fascinated by ideas. Lo Liyong maintains, “It is when ‘fascination...
13. Political Culture and the Prospects of Multi-party Democracy in Kenya: Lessons from the Centre for Multi-Party Democracy-Kenya (CMD-Kenya)
The arts have contributed in the development of accountability and the pursuit of democracy through encouraging community dialogue. In the recent past they have encouraged into the country a new era of multiparty democracy. Musicians...
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2008
OCLC Number: 726828844
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