African Appropriations

African Appropriations

Cultural Difference, Mimesis, and Media
Matthias Krings
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/20/2015
Format: Hardback 33 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01625-6
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Why would a Hollywood film become a Nigerian video remake, a Tanzanian comic book, or a Congolese music video? Matthias Krings explores the myriad ways Africans respond to the relentless onslaught of global culture. He seeks out places where they have adapted pervasive cultural forms to their own purposes as photo novels, comic books, songs, posters, and even scam letters. These African appropriations reveal the broad scope of cultural mediation that is characteristic of our hyperlinked age. Krings argues that there is no longer an "original" or "faithful copy," but only endless transformations that thrive in the fertile ground of African popular culture.

Author Bio

Matthias Krings is Professor of Anthropology and African Popular Culture at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. He is editor (with Onookome Okome) of Global Nollywood: The Transnational Dimensions of an African Video Film Industry (IUP, 2013).


“Matthias Krings has brilliantly fused together vignettes of contemporary African visual mediascapes that cause us to revise our perceptions of eddies and translocations of transnational mediated popular culture to Africa and within Africa.”
 — Abdalla U. Adamu, Bayero University, Kano

“An original, stimulating, and convincing discussion of mimetic behaviors in the fields of cultural production and artistic expression.”
 — Peter Probst, Tufts University

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Table of Contents



1. Major Wicked: Embodying Cultural Difference

2. Lance Spearman: An African James Bond

3. Black Titanic: Pirating the White Star Liner

4. Vice and Videos: Kanywood under Duress

5. Dar 2 Lagos: Nollywood in Tanzania

6. Branding bin Laden: The Global "War on Terror" on a Local Stage

7. Master and Mugu: Orientalist Mimicry and Cybercrime

8. "Crazy White Men": Un/doing Difference in African Popular Music

Coda: Mimesis and Media in Africa