1 Philosophie und Psychologie
Trends, Discourses and Representations in Religions in Africa
Halkano Abdi Wario
- Religion in Africa has for long been a woven cultural fabric of life, a great moving force that guided people’s behavior, interaction and action since time immemorial. A decade after the United States experience of the 9/11, the unfortunate event has set the landmark for a geopolitics in contemporary Africa that securitizes religious movements and that identify them with the so-called global war on terror, a phenomenon within which most African nations play a significant regional role. The current wave of developments related to religion in the contingent became fossilized through religious manipulation and politicization in the post-colonial era. Three thematic concepts have been identified, i.e., religious trends, cultural discourses and representation, in order to capture some of the most contemporary issues of concern to Muslim, Christian and indigenous religious communities in Africa. Nine papers in this second issue of BIGSAS Works! hence targeted current doctoral researches from a wide range of disciplines and successfully integrated a cross-disciplinary approach to appreciate the complexity of faith matters in the continent.
Nostalgia, Home and Be-longing in Contemporary Postapartheid Fiction by Zakes Mda and Ivan Vladislavić
- Nostalgia, Home and Be-Longing in Contemporary South African Fiction: Zakes Mda and Ivan Vladislavić
The dissertation examines the representation of nostalgic longing and the question of home and belonging in selected South African novels by the contemporary writers Zakes Mda and Ivan Vladislavić. I argue that nostalgia is a crucial aspect to be explored in the South African context because it poses uncomfortable questions about one’s sense of belonging in a transforming society and one’s position in the present with regard to a history of colonialism and apartheid. The sentiment of nostalgia and the feeling of displacement bind the selected novels and characters and reveal a deep dissatisfaction with the present. In a comparative study, I show that nostalgia and the question of home have different impacts on the two authors. While the longing for a past home and time supports a reaffirmation of cultural identity in Zakes Mda’s novels, Ivan Vladislavić portrays nostalgia with a critical distance showing that the past is difficult to identify with. Both writers are critical of restorative forms of nostalgia (Boym 2001) and show that home and be-longing are a matter of inclusion and exclusion resulting from a legacy of segregation and Othering. I demonstrate how nostalgia can either contribute to constructively engage with the past and present and envision a future for the South African nation, or how it, on the contrary, can enforce the erection of borders and the (colonial) method of Othering within society.