Re-centering Cultural Performance and Creative Practice in Postcolonial Africa: Diplomacy, Soft power and Sustainability

deadline for submissions: 
July 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Taiwo Afolabi / University of Victoria
contact email: 

Edited Book on

Re-centering Cultural Performance and Creative Practice in Post-colonial Africa

Diplomacy, Soft Power, and Sustainability



Africa’s fifty-four states are diverse, resilient and rich in culture and traditions. It is no doubt that the continent has had its share of phenomenal events that have created a turn in its growth and development – the slave trade, colonialism, civil wars, military coups etc. Also, “the danger of a single story”, the shameful realities of African politics, and the social-economic experiences of many Africans have given the continent a negative reputation and poor image in the world. Among other things, the above realities have created a generalized evaluation of the continent which negatively affects the identities, realities and inter-relations of the African in international spaces other than own. Unfortunate examples of racism, police brutality, unfavourable visa regimes, and undue politico-economic influence on Africans or people of African descent are prevalent today.

Yet, African cultural resources and traditions are still sought after. From the tangible to the intangible aspects of culture including but not limited to the Safaris, cultural festivals, architecture, performances, and film industry. African cultural resources remain so attractive that even the return of looted artefacts from colonial times has become a controversial debate, especially in Europe. These cultural facts, artefacts and materials serve as a poster for the world about the continent. While this in itself can be problematic, it is worth exploring how such cultural performances and creative practices can be converted to become an enabling tool for advancing transformation on the continent. Thus, in this volume, the interest is on the role of national theatres, national cultural centres, cultural policy, festivals, and the film industry as creative and cultural performances hubs for exercising soft power and cultural diplomacy? Further, how can existing cultural and non-cultural infrastructures, sometimes referred to as the Orange Economy, open opportunities for diplomacy and soft power; ways by which cultural performance and creative practice can be re-centred in post-colonial Africa and in the post-global pandemic era; and existing structures that cultural performers, diplomats, administrators, cultural entrepreneurs, and managers can leverage to re-enact cultural performance and creative practice on the continent.

This volume is positioned within postcolonial discourse to amplify narratives, experiences and realities that are anti-oppressive especially within critical discourse. Chapters are invited from scholars, diplomats, administrators, cultural entrepreneurs and practitioners in performance studies, culture and film studies, ethnomusicology, museology, cultural policy, cultural sustainability, area and regional studies, political science, management, arts administration, and other related disciplines. Contributions are welcome in the following sub-themes as well as any related subthemes:

  • Cultural Performance and Soft Power
  • The Role of Arts Administration and Cultural Entrepreneurship
  • Cultural Exchange Programs and Mobility of Ideas
  • Re-imaging National Theatres and film Industry
  • Arts, Culture and Tourism and International Relations
  • Orange Economy, Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power
  • Cultural Policy and Creative Practice in Africa
  • Cultural Leadership and Soft Power
  • Cultural Sustainability and Creative Practice
  • Gender Perspectives in Cultural Performance and Creative Practice
  • Cultural Celebrations
  • National Cultural Festivals
  • Film Cultures in Africa

Instructions for contributors: Contributors should submit an abstract of 250-300 words to editors at the email below addresses below by 15th August 2020. Full paper should be typed onA4 paper size, double line spacing not more than 20 pages (max 6000 words including references). For blind review purposes, the names of the author(s), a short biography of the contributor(s), telephone number(s), email address and the address/institutional affiliation should appear on a separate first page. Referencing style should conform to APA, 6th edition style. Receipt of manuscripts will be acknowledged. Full paper must reach the editor on or before 30th November 2020. All submissions and correspondences should be forwarded to the Editors:


Dr Taiwo Afolabi                                          Dr Olusola Ogunnubi                               

University of Victoria                                   Carleton University

Canada                                                      Canada                                                          



                                                Dr Shadrach T. Ukuma

                                                Benue State University