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Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams: Towards a Critical Theory of the Arts…

by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

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Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams explores the relationship between art and political power in society, taking as its starting point the experience of writers in contemporary Africa, where they are often seen as the enemy of the postcolonial state. This study, in turn, raises the wider issuesof the relationship between the state of art and the art of the state, particularly in their struggle for the control of performance space in territorial, temporal, social, and even psychic contexts. Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, calls for the alliance of art and people power, freedom anddignity against the encroachments of modern states. Art, he argues, needs to be active, engaged, insistent on being what it has always been, the embodiment of dreams for a truly human world.… (more)

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Penpoints, Gunpoints, and Dreams explores the relationship between art and political power in society, taking as its starting point the experience of writers in contemporary Africa, where they are often seen as the enemy of the postcolonial state. This study, in turn, raises the wider issuesof the relationship between the state of art and the art of the state, particularly in their struggle for the control of performance space in territorial, temporal, social, and even psychic contexts. Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, calls for the alliance of art and people power, freedom anddignity against the encroachments of modern states. Art, he argues, needs to be active, engaged, insistent on being what it has always been, the embodiment of dreams for a truly human world.

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