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Transgressions: Redressing Tradition

Rekha Menon


In our post-colonial context, translation is interpretation and becomes a site, a space that creates a mode of self-interpretation in favor of the logic of globalization. The latter comprises a process of abolishing all that is local, traditional, and imposes homogeneity. Indeed, we are compelled to acquire a new subject - with a uniform, global look and thinking, in place of our old selves. The new is something that we must construct bodily on top of our traditional self: it must be exercised, painted, behaviorally proper, and uniformly predictable. All other forms of being a subject - the local - are to be relegated to the bin of primitivism, exoticism, inadequacy, and out of historical flow. In this context my paper will investigate the contemporary Other/Otherness, some aspects of African art which was termed as primitive by the West, located in the local-historical Space, the immigrant Space, a local-Global Africa attempting to catch up with the Western Space. After all, third world, me being from the third world, must catch up to the "world history" since our history is not part of the world. We are the Third Space, the Third World; we are attempting to be global and yet compelled to be local third. We are compelled to become subjects and objects of technical power and prowess, and yet we still cling to our traditional self.

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Ijele: Art eJournal of the African World. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editor: Nkiru Nzegwu; Film Review Editor: Phyllis J. Jackson; Exhibition/Curator & Book Review Editor: Azuka Nzegwu

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