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Type: Journal article
Title: Producing a world of remains in Indian Ocean Africa: discrepant time, melancholy affect and the subject of transport in Capital Art Studio, Stone Town, Zanzibar
Author: Samuelson, M.
Citation: African Studies, 2016; 75(2):233-256
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0002-0184
Statement of
Meg Samuelson
Abstract: This article reads a photographic studio and the visual archive compiled therein of the stone town of Zanzibar City. Capital Art Studio is analysed as negotiating the fraught interface between the Indian Ocean world and continental Africa in both the 1950s and again after the revolution in nationalist and neoliberal eras. The article explores the ways in which the studio produces discrepant temporalities to both the heritage industry currently reconstructing Stone Town and that emerging from other photographic studios of the postcolonial world, which extend surfaces for ludic forms of self-fashioning by which their subjects. In striking contrast, Capital Art Studio articulates a visual idiom that re-calls a time in which Zanzibar was an ‘island metropolis’ while simultaneously refusing the heritage industry’s consignment of this time to the past. This articulation and refusal is rendered through a visual idiom of transport or in the re-presentation of Stone Town as melancholy palimpsest. Both convey into a present framed by a neoliberal global order a past that was ambivalently both cosmopolitan and commodifying.
Keywords: Capital Art Studio; photography; Zanzibar; Indian Ocean world
Rights: © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd on behalf of the University of Witwatersrand
RMID: 0030066948
DOI: 10.1080/00020184.2016.1182318
Appears in Collections:English publications

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