Modernism and African Dance

Reinventing traditions

Authored by: Kariamu Welsh

The Modernist World

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415845038
eBook ISBN: 9781315778334
Adobe ISBN: 9781317696162

10.4324/9781315778334.ch19

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Abstract

In this essay, I address the role of African dances as cultural ambassadors for burgeoning and newly liberated African nations. Liberation was thematic in the modernist discourse in post-Second World War Europe and America. The Allies had won and the troops were coming home. For the many Africans and African-Americans who fought in the Second World War, the question of liberation became more urgent. Modernism, for the disenfranchised, was a catalyst for self-invention and self-development. Liberation meant freedom from colonialism, and the wheels were put in motion as scores of educated African activists set their sights on the liberation of their countries. African activists knew that the next war was their war of liberation and freedom.

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