The Pan-African Nation: Oil and the Spectacle of Culture in Nigeria

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Social Science - 296 pages
When Nigeria hosted the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977, it celebrated a global vision of black nationhood and citizenship animated by the exuberance of its recent oil boom. Andrew Apter's The Pan-African Nation tells the full story of this cultural extravaganza, from Nigeria's spectacular rebirth as a rapidly developing petro-state to its dramatic demise when the boom went bust.

According to Apter, FESTAC expanded the horizons of blackness in Nigeria to mirror the global circuits of its economy. By showcasing masks, dances, images, and souvenirs from its many diverse ethnic groups, Nigeria forged a new national culture. In the grandeur of this oil-fed confidence, the nation subsumed all black and African cultures within its empire of cultural signs and erased its colonial legacies from collective memory. As the oil economy collapsed, however, cultural signs became unstable, contributing to rampant violence and dissimulation.

The Pan-African Nation unpacks FESTAC as a historically situated mirror of production in Nigeria. More broadly, it points towards a critique of the political economy of the sign in postcolonial Africa.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Spectacle of Culture
85
La Mise en Abīme
221
Conclusion
278
Notes
285

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 21 - A commodity appears, at first sight, a very trivial thing, and easily understood. Its analysis shows that it is, in reality, a very queer thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.

About the author (2008)

Andrew Apter is professor of history and anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and chair of the interdepartmental program in African studies. His previous book, Black Critics and Kings: The Hermeneutics of Power in Yoruba Society, was published by the University of Chicago Press.

Bibliographic information