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.

Edition

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-center 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 1: 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 2: 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 3: 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

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