Projects per year
In discussions of African cultural politics, a new label of ‘Afropolitan’ refers to diverse engagements by Africans who are typically members of the cultural elite, and participate in diaspora politics, online activism, fashion and literature debates. Simultaneously, in discussions of development aid, celebrity has become a way of mediating between proximity and distance in imagining relationships between South and North. Afropolitanism can be usefully considered as an Africa-specific, post-colonial form of cosmopolitanism that spans discourses of elite pan-African culture to theories of elite global aid culture. We argue that there are essential connections between the rise of Afropolitanism and the celebritization of North-South relations. In this realm, “Afropolitanism” is an idea combining cosmopolitanism’s notions of kindness to strangers in a world where the ‘kindness’ is aid and the ‘strangers’ are Africans. We analyse two archetypical Afropolitan performances by Danish aid celebrities to argue that their representations of Africa’s external relations are theoretically more interesting, and politically more dangerous, than is currently understood. In doing so, we expand the debates around Afropolitanism and celebritization from the realm of cultural politics to one of International Relations.
- cosmpolitanism, Africa, celebrity politics, humanitarianism, development aid
CoCo Research: Commodifying Compassion: Implications of Turning People and Humanitarian Causes Into Marketable Things
01/01/2017 → 01/01/2021