African Luxury (Book)
Aesthetics and Politics
Moving far beyond predominant views of Africa as a place to be 'saved', and even more recent celebratory formulations of it as 'rising', African Luxury: Aesthetics and Politics highlights and critically interrogates the visual and material cultures of lavish and luxurious consumption already present on the continent.
A PDF version of this book is available for free in Open Access: African Luxury. It has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License and is part of Knowledge Unlatched.
Moving far beyond predominant views of Africa as a place to be 'saved', and even more recent celebratory formulations of it as 'rising', African Luxury: Aesthetics and Politics highlights and critically interrogates the visual and material cultures of lavish and luxurious consumption already present on the continent. Methodologically, conceptually and analytically, the collection dismantles taken-for-granted ideas that the West is the source and focus of high-end and hyper-desirable material cultures. It explores what the culture of consumption means in Africa in both historical and contemporary contexts, studying diverse luxury phenomena including fashion advertising, reality television, retail, gendered consumption and gardening to re-centre the discussion on existing contemporary luxury cultures across the continent.
Mehita Iqani is associate professor in media studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Simidele Dosekun is a lecturer in media and cultural studies at the University of Sussex.
Introduction: The Politics and Aesthetics of Luxury in Africa by Simidele Dosekun and Mehita Iqani
Section One: Africa Risen
Chapter 1: The Last Luxury Frontier? How Global Consulting Firms Discursively Construct the African Market by Mehita Iqani
Chapter 2: African Utopianism: The Invention of Africa in Diesel’s The Daily African – A Retrogressive Reading by Hlonipha Mokoena
Chapter 3: For Love or Money? Romance, Luxury and Class Distinction on Mzansi Magic’s Date My Family by Alexia Smit
Section Two: Re/Crafting African Style
Chapter 4: From African Print to Global Luxury: Dutch Wax Cloth Rebranding and the Politics of High-Value by M. Amah Edoh
Chapter 5: The Playful and Privileged Africanicity of Luxury: @AlaraLagos by Simidele Dosekun
Chapter 6: Fields of Marigold: Makers and Wearers of African Luxury Beaded Necklaces by Pamila Gupta
Section Three: Ambiguous Luxury Spaces
Chapter 7: Luminance and the Moralization of Black Women’s Luxury Consumption in South Africa by Ndapwa Alweendo and Simidele Dosekun
Chapter 8: The Politics of Repair: Talatona and Luxury Urbanism in Luanda, Angola by Claudia Gastrow
Chapter 9: Welcome to the Jungle: Tropical Modernism, Decadence, Gardening in Africa by Jonathan Cane