Entangled Solidarities: African–Asian Writers’ Organisations, Anti-colonial Rhetorics and Afrasian Imaginaries in East African Literature
The following chapter seeks to critically reconstruct a history of organised solidarity between African and Asian writers that began in the post-Bandung spirit of increased cooperation between countries of the “Global South”, but soon succumbed to the pressures of Cold War ideology, nationalism and an overpowering victimological tale of local cultures endangered by “western imperialism”. The essay argues that today, attempts to revive this “enchanted solidarity” (as well as the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association) testify to the spectral presence of an abstract solidarity of common victimhood that has little to offer either to literary theory or to literary practice in the twenty-first century. On the other hand, the essay explores new modes of Rethinking the Global South and a new “Afrasian” attentiveness to African–Asian contact zones in East African Literature that has largely replaced the spectral appeal to anti-colonial literary, cultural and political identities in contemporary East African literary practice.
KeywordsAfrasia Anti-colonialism Cold War East Africa Global South Imaginaries Writers’ associations
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