Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria

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Postcolonial Modernism chronicles the emergence of artistic modernism in Nigeria in the heady years surrounding political independence in 1960, before the outbreak of civil war in 1967. Chika Okeke-Agulu traces the artistic, intellectual, and critical networks in several Nigerian cities. Zaria is particularly important, because it was there, at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, that a group of students formed the Art Society and inaugurated postcolonial modernism in Nigeria. Okeke-Agulu demonstrates that their works show both a deep connection with local artistic traditions and the stylistic sophistication that we have come to associate with 20th-century modernist practices. His book explores how these young Nigerian artists were inspired by the rhetoric and ideologies of decolonization and nationalism in the early and mid-20th century and, later, by advocates of negritude and pan-Africanism. They translated the experiences of decolonization into a distinctive “postcolonial modernism” that has continued to inform the work of major Nigerian artists.

Duke University Press
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