Invisibility/visibility. Looking and then seeing. “Making you see.” The unseen: understated, inexpressible, unrepresentable. Haunting. Heterotopia. Rendering the African invisible visible. Together, the essays gathered in this special issue explore the many different ways in which African cultural forms have raised important questions of what is represented and who represents, of who sees and who is seen, and of how certain institutions and social structures can ensure that what was once unseen in relation to Africa—issues of pain, suffering, discomfort, and humiliation—are brought into greater visibility. Throughout, the contributors recognize the ways in which novels, stories, film, dance, sports, and other cultural forms beat insistently at the limits of the invisible, bringing African concerns into the public sphere, both on the continent and more broadly, and illuminating in radiant ways what was once obscured or neglected.
Excerpted from the introduction
Research in African Literature Volume 44 No. 2, (In)Visibility in African Cultures
Guest Editors: Zoe Norridge, Charlotte Baker, and Elleke Boehmer
RAL 44.2 Introduction: Tracing the Visible and the Invisible through African Literature, Publishing, Film, and Performance Art