DB_Lerole. footnotes (The struggle of memory against forgetting), 2018_installation view Galerie Sfeir-Semler_63.jpg

Dineo Seshee Bopape, Lerole: footnotes (The struggle of memory against forgetting), 2018, Installation view, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Hamburg, 2018

Essays

Living With Ghosts

By Kojo Abudu

Published on the Occasion of Living With Ghosts at Pace Gallery in London
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

“[T]he postcolonial African world exists only as that which is absent.”
– Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Coloniality of Power in Postcolonial Africa: Myths of Decolonisation, 2013
“They talk to me about progress, about “achievements,” diseases cured, improved standards of living. I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out. They throw facts at my head, statistics, mileages of roads, canals, and railroad tracks … I am talking about millions of men torn from their gods, their land, their habits, their life – from life, from the dance, from wisdom.”
– Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism, 2000
“It is necessary to speak of the ghost, indeed to the ghost and with it, from the moment that no ethics, no politics, whether revolutionary or not, seems possible and thinkable and just that does not recognize in its principle the respect for those others who are no longer or for those others who are not yet there, presently living, whether they are already dead or not yet born.”
– Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, The Work of Mourning and the New International. trans. Peggy Kamuf. New York and London: Routledge, 1994

How to account for a continent that is at once everywhere and nowhere, for a continent whose “present” is irreducibly sutured to an unceasing past and to a non-arrived future? I am speaking here of a historical condition of immense spatio-temporal disjunction, of a here that always remains entangled with a there, of a now that always indicates the shadow of a then and a could-be. This elusive, ghostly terrain of absent-presences, which contemporary postcolonial Africa so profoundly inhabits, is what Living with Ghosts sets out to explore.

One might situate the aforementioned characteristic of radical disjuncture within the longue durée of modern colonial worlding, beginning with the transatlantic slave trade in the 15th century. Slavery produced and was legitimated by a set of nearly imperceptible ontological and epistemological structures – what Walter Mignolo calls the “colonial matrices of power” – that have subjected the African continent, as well as Asia and Latin America, to centuries of white Euro-American domination.[1] These colonial matrices of power possess global and transhistorically adaptive dimensions, working along a plurality of axes and through varying levels of abstraction. By imposing a dubiously universal evaluative metric of Human recognition that centers the European Enlightenment subject as its prime standard, the colonial matrices of power (re)produce hierarchies of racial and civilizational difference, subjugate and (attempt to) erase non-Western thought systems, and naturalise capitalist, extractive practices of exploitation and expropriation of racialized labor and the more-than-human world.[2] What I am thus referring to here is a relation of dominance, a transhistorical logic of power that Mignolo – along with Sylvia Wynter, Anibal Quijano, Françoise Vergès, and many others – has termed coloniality.[3] Such a term allows us to think more profoundly about postcolonial Africa’s spatio-temporal out-of-jointness and, as Living With Ghosts aims to show, frames such disjointedness as symptomatic of – following Jacques Derrida’s formulation – a “hauntological” condition.[4]

Coloniality differs from colonialism (even though it is at once colonialism’s condition of possibility and its emergent afterlife) in that it transgresses temporally demarcated colonial state regimes, such as those imposed by European imperial powers in Africa in the late 19th century and early 20th centuries. As a logic of power that operates on the immaterial plane of epistemology and ontology, but yet has concrete political, social and economic effects, coloniality may, and indeed does, linger in a given territory even after the evacuation of colonial powers and the formation of a supposedly independent postcolonial state. In this way, coloniality may be conceived as a wandering ghost, as a historical specter that continually returns to the (African) postcolony to govern its affairs and direct the subjectivities of its citizens in the interest of maintaining Euro-American domination. Consequently, from a spatial perspective, Africa and the so-called West remain deeply entangled with one another to the point of inseparability: While Euro-American colonial specters possess African landscapes, institutions, and subjectivities, African labor and resources – being the condition of possibility for the generation and accumulation of Euro-American capital – become materially and symbolically incorporated into Euro-America’s social and political body. “Africa” is therefore at once there and not-there, for it is a ghostly, disjointed landmass that continues to be dislocated from itself to global elsewheres through uneven trade and coerced or forced migration.

One can observe the historical drama of haunting as it played out with the “failed” African decolonization movements in the mid-20th century. As Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni argues, what many of these anti-colonial movements achieved was a partially liberatory form of juridical independence, and not decolonization in a thoroughgoing sense, if decolonization entailed, as Frantz Fanon posed, the radical creation of a disalineated “new man.”[5] Instead, following the euphoric era of independence in the 1960s and 1970s, postcolonial Africa was subjected, yet again, to reinvigorated colonial matrices of power, this time, in the form of ensuing civil wars, either spurred by ethnicized conflict (a sociological product of the colonial state’s partitive population management) or by politically motivated assassinations of elected leaders (at times facilitated by Euro-American intelligence agencies); the imposition of neoliberal structural adjustment policies by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; the proliferation of multinational corporate interests, particularly those involved in natural resource extraction; and the consolidation of a self-enriching ruling class, a “national bourgeoise,” that aids in the ongoing process of colonial dispossession by arbitrarily exercising disciplinary power in ways uncannily reminiscent of unaccountable colonial governments.[6] Following Kwame Nkrumah, we might refer to coloniality’s re-emergent (im)material machinations in the postcolonial era as “neocolonialism.”[7]

Coloniality, as operative through neocolonialism, continually thwarts and frustrates the postcolonial African state’s realization of autonomy, disalienation, and decolonization.[8] Consequently, decolonization becomes another specter that haunts the postcolonial African imaginary and its globally dispersed diasporas, figuring as an unfulfilled emancipatory promise, as an illusory project of freedom located on a horizon of political possibility that demands that it be completed. The impulse towards decolonization emanates from a resilient field of alternate possibility that has always refused and resisted coloniality’s impositions. This resistive field, which is immanent to the condition of modernity itself, is the field of “decoloniality,” and might be conceived as an ever-accumulating emancipatory inheritance that weighs on, guides, and informs the “wretched of the earth” in their ongoing praxes of living, knowing, and being otherwise.[9]

Contemporary Africa (and the wider world with which it is irreducibly entangled) is thus haunted not only by the ghosts of the colonial past, by the unresolved specters of coloniality, but by a utopian vision of a decolonial future that has not arrived and is yet to come. Following Achille Mbembe, postcolonial Africa might, then, be viewed more complexly as a spectral terrain of entangled absent-presences, whereby past-presents become mixed with future-pasts.[10] Living With Ghosts maps the cracks, gaps, passages, and grooves that constitute this ghostly postcolonial space-time, arguing that this “non-contemporaneity with itself of the living present,” requires for its reflection, interrogation, and mediation, the articulation of a poetics of the spectral, what Derrida terms a “spectropoetics.”[11] Hence, this exhibition project’s overarching concern with the critical role of contemporary art practice.

While the artworks presented in these galleries evidence distinct methodologies, sensibilities, and art historical genealogies, they all share an ethical and political commitment aimed towards inciting an anticolonial politics of memory. By working with and through unresolved pasts and elapsed futures, these artworks gather and in turn release specters in the world, with the hope that these specters haunt those that encounter them. In being haunted, we are forced to acknowledge the absent-presences of ghosts in everyday life. Such an acknowledgment –speaking of, speaking to, and living with these ghosts – inaugurates a crucial movement away from the blinded comforts of historical amnesia and orients us toward the possibility of truly reckoning with “past” colonial injustices (many of which are committed in seemingly far-away places) and the ways in which these injustices continually structure our present.[12] Further, in being haunted through our affective encounters with these ghosts, we are opened up to the possibility of being possessed by the desirous visions they convey, of just, decolonial futures that were never realized and which we are now tasked with the responsibility of bringing about.

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Nolan Oswald Dennis, biko.cabral, 2020 © Nolan Oswald Dennis, courtesy the artist and Goodman Gallery

We can observe the power of such spectral calls to decolonial justice in works by Nolan Oswald Dennis, Bouchra Khalili, and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, all of which deploy innovative formal methods to address the African nationalist liberation struggles of the mid-20th century, taking account of these movements’ strategies and tactics as well as their hopes and failures. These works merge historical, archival investigations with fictional modes of story-telling to reimagine and reactivate silenced pasts and, in turn, illuminate hitherto unthought possibilities. Dennis’s compact installation, biko.cabral (time/place) (2020), uses an algorithm to generate a speculative, intra-continental dialogue between Steve Biko, an anti-apartheid activist at the forefront of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, and Amilcar Cabral, a leading Bissau-Guinean anti-colonial revolutionary. Continuously printed on a receipt that eventually billows unto the gallery floor, the work relays fragments from the insurrectionist writings and speeches of these two assassinated radicals to stage a “fabulated,” spectral convening.[13] In Bouchra Khalili’s Foreign Office (2015), Algiers figures as the forgotten mecca of Third World internationalist discourse and activism between 1962 and 1972: a series of photographs show deserted headquarter buildings of bygone liberation movements, which lay haunted by the futural specter of decolonization;[14] a silkscreen print maps these buildings, littered all over the city, in an “archipelique” arrangement; and in a montagic essay film, two young Algerians attempt to re-member this arrested future of post-independence utopianism via a forensic investigation of archival remains. Meanwhile, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s projected slideshow, Foreword to Guns for Banta (2011), centres the work of Sarah Maldoror, an anti-colonial Guadeloupian filmmaker whose first feature-length film, based on the liberation struggles in Guinea-Bissau, was confiscated by the film’s financiers, the Algerian army. Foreword becomes a ghostly stand-in for Maldoror’s irretrievable masterwork of militant Third Cinema;[15] composed of surviving photographic stills taken on set while filming, in addition to Abonnenc’s two-year dialogue with Maldoror, the work covers a range of piercing themes, mostly notably, the overlooked contributions of women to the fight for independence.

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Abraham Oghobase, Constructed Realities, 2022 © Abraham Oghobase, courtesy the artist

A set of other art practices give palpable form to the ghost-like, colonial matrices of power that these pan-African liberation movements fought so fiercely to eliminate. In Constructed Realities (2019-ongoing), Abraham Oghobase overlays archival colonial imagery, depicting a murky collision of British officials and colonised African subjects, with one-page excerpts from The Dual Mandate in British Tropical West Africa, penned in 1922 by Lord Frederick Lugard, Nigeria’s first governor-general. Printed on fiber paper and silk organza, Oghobase’s subtle material manipulations of these archival materials, paired with the fugitive gazes of the anonymous colonized subjects, give rise to textural, apparational aesthetics of delicacy and obscurity that undermine the self-assured “objectivity” of Lugard’s colonial rhetoric. Shown for the first time in this fashion, Oghobase arranges the printed archival materials on two lengthy, upward-tilted wooden tables – a sculptural nod to the drafting tables used by European colonialists to divide up the African continent in the late 19th century.

If Oghobase’s incorporation of Lugard’s text reveals the anxiety-ridden ideologies that justified and reproduced the exploitative and expropriative practices of British-administered African colonial states (practices that, as discussed earlier, continue today in the supposedly “post”-colonial era, in the form of neo-colonialism), Cameron Rowland’s work situates these colonial capitalist logics within an extended time frame, locating their conditions of possibility in the unprecedented global financial infrastructures produced by the transatlantic slave trade. Rowland’s Mooring (2020) is presented in the form of a framed letter confirming the artist’s rental of a mooring at the Albert Dock in Liverpool. This dock is the former location of a warehouse that was used by William Rathbones and Sons, a merchant company founded in Liverpool in 1746 that profited from supplying timber to slave ship builders, and which still operates today as a well-known investment and wealth management firm. In collapsing the temporal divisions between oft-abstracted economies of slavery and exorbitant accumulations of capital in our present moment (as well as renting the mooring for the purpose of not being used), Rowland offers a materialist critique of private property that exposes its historic and ongoing dependency on the violation of African flesh.[16]

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Torkwase Dyson, Black World Building (Hypershape), 2022 © Torkwase Dyson, courtesy Pace Gallery

Torkwase Dyson’s multidisciplinary practice, like Rowland’s, thinks through histories of the transatlantic slave trade and its contemporary afterlives. Whereas Rowland presents matter-of-factly the storied material lives of objects, spaces, and institutions, Dyson draws on the formal languages of geometric abstraction, minimalism, and cartography to meditate on the conscious, phenomenological experiences of the enslaved.[17] Coining the term “Black Compositional Thought,” Dyson considers how Black and brown bodies navigate hostile geographies and infrastructures designed for their surveillance and premature deaths. Balancing clean architectonic lines and expressive gestural marks, Dyson’s suite of drawings and wall sculptures materialise the ways in which racialised bodies have, over centuries, engineered ingenious, clandestine ways of liberating themselves from imposed colonial conditions of spatial enclosure.[18] Tako Taal similarly explores the enduring psychic structures of colonial relations, drawing on her personal family archives and from the ineffable, interior experiences of diasporic entanglement to move fluidly between the singular, public-facing sphere of history and the collective, private domain of memory.[19] Blurring in and out of focus, her affective video work I fa mo ketta (It’s been a long time) (2017) hovers over photographs from her father’s albums, many of which document the construction of her family home in the Gambia – a home that her now-deceased father never got to see in its completion. This home is not too far from Kunta Kinteh Island, a haunted site containing the ruins of European forts that were used as carceral holding spaces from which enslaved West Africans were transported to the so-called New World.

Dineo Seshee Bopape’s sprawling, multisensory, floor-based installation, Lerole: Footnotes (the struggle of memory against forgetting) from 2018, is reimagined in the gallery as an ephemeral monument to numerous anti-colonial revolts on the African continent against European forces, dating back five centuries.[20] Bopape conveys these insurgent histories through intuitively placed text-inscribed wooden plaques, giving backlog context to the works discussed earlier addressing 20th century liberation struggles. Bopape additionally maps out differentially stacked formations of adobe bricks in the space, adorning them with materials such as sand, incense, and oxides. Turntables, emitting the calls of the quetzal bird and recordings of bodies of water from all over the African continent, as well as small ceramic sculptures, cast from inside the artist’s clenched fist, are also scattered throughout the archipelagic installation.[21] The haptic ceramic forms reference the symbolic gestures of Robert Sobukwe, a South African political dissident and founder of the Pan Africanist Congress, who grabbed a handful of soil to greet new political prisoners as they arrived at Robben Island. Informed by the resilient place-making rituals of dispossessed indigenous South Africans, Bopape’s shrine-like invocation of the spirits of her rebellious ancestors forcefully delinks from colonial modes of knowing and being.

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Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Nothing to Lose IX (Bodies of Experience), 1989/2021 © Courtesy of Hales, London and New York; and Autograph, London. Photo by Charles Rousell

Such decolonial gestures resonate with the work of the late pioneering photographer, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, who pushed the photographic medium beyond its materialist, indexical capacities – technological capacities historically entwined with colonial epistemologies of racialised capture, surveillance, and representational denigration[22] – to allude to hidden, spiritual realms. In his semiotically disorienting syncretic photographs, produced amidst the AIDS crisis in 1980s Britain, the artist transformed his photographic studio into a ritualistic homoerotic site for the conjuring of Yoruba deities and ancestral spirits. These invoked spectral presences inject the materiality of Fani-Kayode’s photographs with an ecstatic aura, converting the works from mere visual documents into talismanic objects charged with the proleptic visions of a queer decolonial futurity.

Endnotes
  1. Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh, On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis, (Durham, NC; London: Duke University Press), 2018, 20.
  2. See Sylvia Wynter, “Unsettling The Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards The Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation - An Argument,” The New Centennial Review, Vol. 3, No. 3, Fall 2003, 257-337.
  3. See Anibal Quijano, “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism and Latin America,” International Sociology, Vol. 15, Issue 2, 2000, 215-232. See also Francois Vergès, A Decolonial Feminism, trans. Ashley J. Bohrer, (London: Pluto Press), 2021.
  4. Jacques Derrida coined the term “hauntology” – a portmanteau of haunting and ontology – to denote a field of uncanny phenomena that embody the seemingly contradictory (im)materiality of the trace, the echo, the afterlife, or the revenant. All such phenomena elude hegemonic orders of post-Enlightenment knowledge that presume a linear progression of historical time or attempt to separate being from non-being, visibility from invisibility, and life from death. See Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, The Work of Mourning and the New International, trans. Peggy Kamuf (New York and London: Routledge), 1994.
  5. Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Coloniality of Power in Postcolonial Africa: Myths of Decolonisation, (Dakar: CODESRIA), 2013, 75; Frantz Fanon, The Wretched Of The Earth, trans. Richard Philcox, (New York: Grove Press), 1963, 239.
  6. I am thinking here of the #ENDSARS protests in Nigeria in 2020, the #FixTheCountry protests in Ghana in 2021, the Sudanese revolution in 2019, and many other instances of mass-led revolts against militarised postcolonial state power. One could (and should) draw parallels between these mass uprisings on the African continent with those in its global diasporas, from the #BlackLivesMatter in the United States to the Haitian protests of the last half-decade.
  7. Kwame Nkrumah, Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd.), 1965.
  8. Following decolonization to its radical conclusions, however, would involve the complete dismantling of the nation-state as we know it.
  9. The phrase “the wretched of the earth,” which I use to describe those that have been and continue to be subjugated by the coloniality of power, is borrowed from Frantz Fanon’s well-known treatise on decolonization, The Wretched Of The Earth, 2004.
  10. Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press), 2001, 16.
  11. Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, The Work of Mourning and the New International, 1994, xviii and 56.
  12. Avery Gordon speaks of one’s encounter with these ghosts as prompting a feeling of “something-to-be-done” in the present. See Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota), 1997.
  13. As hinted in the work’s title, the algorithm specifically searches for the terms “time” and “place” – two highly hauntological concepts – in Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like, 1978, and Amilcar Cabral’s Return to the Source, 1973. The two texts are both compilations of these figures’ writings and speeches, published soon after their respective assassinations. My use of the term “fabulated” is taken from Saidiya Hartman’s notion of “critical fabulation,” a counter-method of engaging with and activating the ghosts of the archive, whereby, through “playing with and rearranging the basic elements of the story,” one is able to “displace the received or authoritative account” as a way of imagining “what might have happened or might have been said, or might have been done.” See Saidiya Hartman, “Venus in Two Acts,” Small Axe, Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2008, 1-14.
  14. The myriad liberation movements headquartered in Algiers during this period represented an overwhelmingly large part of the Third World. In an unprecedented bid to undo the Euro-centered geopolitical world order that emerged in the wake of WWII – between the capitalist West and the state-communist East – these movements formed supranational networks of solidarity that stretched from Algeria, Mozambique, and Eritrea, to Palestine, Vietnam, and the (Black) United States. See Vishay Prashad, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, (New York: The New Press), 2008. See also Robin D.G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. Boston: Beacon Press, 2002.
  15. Third Cinema was a revolutionary cinematic movement arising in Asia, Africa, and Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s that sought to expand the decolonial imagination amongst its audiences: See Octavia Getino and Fernando Solanas, “Towards a Third Cinema: Notes and Experiences for the Development of a Cinema of Liberation in the Third World,” Black Camera, Vol. 13, No. 1, Fall 2021, 378-401. For a contextual treatment of the politics and legacies of this movement, See Kodwo Eshun & Ros Gray, “The Militant Image: A Ciné-Geography,” Third Text, Volume 25, Issue 1, 1-12.
  16. For more on the coterminous developments of private property rights, the transatlantic slave trade, white supremacy, and modern anti-Black violence, see Cheryl Davis, “Whiteness as Property,” Harvard Law Review, Volume 106, Number 8, June 1993, 1709-1791; Ian Baucum, Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History, (Durham and London: Duke University Press), 2005; Cedric Robinson Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition, (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press), 1983.
  17. Dyson’s artistic method sharply resonates with Christina Sharpe’s writings, where she lyrically thinks through what it means to be “in the wake” of slavery on a global level. Sharpe states that “rather than seeking a resolution to blackness’s ongoing and irresolvable abjection, one might approach Black being in the wake as a form of consciousness” (italics mine). See Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, (Durham: Duke University Press), 2016, 14.
  18. Dyson especially considers the sensorial, spatial, and architectural conditions of various slave escapes in the United States, often returning to the fugitive narratives of Harriet Tubman (who hid in a 9” x 7” x 3” triangular garret for two years), Anthony Burns (who took cover in the hull of a ship for three weeks) and Henry Box Brown (who entombed himself in a 8” x 2” x 3” crate box for 27 hours). Katherine McKittrick discusses the dark, cramped spaces from which the enslaved liberated themselves as “paradoxical spaces,” in that they upturn heroic liberal formulations that make binary distinctions between conditions of slavery and freedom. See Katherine McKittrick, “The Last Place They Thought Of: Black Women’s Geographies,” In Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle. (Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press,) 2006, 41-43.
  19. Pierre Nora famously distinguishes between history and memory, referring to the former as objective, analytical, and critical, and to the latter as vague, impressionistic, emotional, and magical. As many scholars have argued, what determines the conversion of the latter into the former hinges on an active process of selection – a determination of what/who/where is relevant and what/who/where is not – that is most often performed by those in positions of power. “History,” in other words, is filtered, hegemonized memory. See Pierre Nora, “Between Memory and History” in Realms of Memory: The Construction of the French Past, Volume I – Conflicts and Divisions, trans. Arthur Goldhammer, (New York: Columbia University Press), 1996, 3. See also Anne Laura Stoler, “Colonial Archives and the Arts of Governance,” Archival Science 2, 2002, 87-109.
  20. A historical account of the long durée of African anti-colonial resistance is covered in C.L.R. James’s A History of Pan-African Revolt, (Oakland: PM Press), 1969.
  21. The quetzal bird, native to South America, is mythologically known to commit suicide when held in captivity.
  22. For more on the fraught relation of lens-based media to non-white subjects from Africa and its diasporas, see Rizvana Bradley, “Picturing Catastrophe, The Visual Politics of Racial Reckoning,” The Yale Review, Summer 2021: https://yalereview.org/article/picturing-catastrophe; Teju Cole, “When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.),” New York Times, February 6, 2019: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/magazine/when-the-camera-was-a-weapon-of-imperialism-and-when-it-still-is.html
Further Reading – Living with Ghosts, Pace London

Baucum, Ian. Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2005.

Behrend, Heike. “Spaces of Refusal: Photophobic Spirits and the Technical Medium of

Photography” in Trance Mediums and New Media: Spirit Possession in the Age of Technical Reproduction. ed. Heike Behrend, Anja Dreschke, and Martin Zillinger, Fordham Scholarship Online, 2015, 202-220

Blanco, María Del Pilar and Peeren, Esther (ed.). The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2013

Cabral, Amilcar. Return to Source: Selected Speeches by Amilcar Cabral. ed. Africa Information Service. New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1973

Césaire, Aimé. Discourse on Colonialism. trans. Joan Pinkham. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000

Cole, Teju. “When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.),” New York Times, February 6, 2019: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/magazine/when-the-camera-was-a-weapon-of-imperialism-and-when-it-still-is.html

Demos, T.J. Return to the Postcolony: Specters of Colonialism in Contemporary Art. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013

Derrida, Jacques. Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, The Work of Mourning and the New International. trans. Peggy Kamuf. New York and London: Routledge, 1994

de Bacque, Antoine and Jousse, Thierry, “Cinema and Its Ghosts: An Interview With Jacques Derrida.” trans. Peggy Kamuf. Discourse, Volume 37, No. 1-2, Winter/Spring 2015, 22-39

Eng, David L. and Kazanjan, David. Loss: The Politics of Mourning. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2003

Enwezor, Okwui. “Modernity and Postcolonial Ambivalence.” South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 109, Issue 3, Summer 2010, 595-620

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched Of The Earth. trans. Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Press, 1963

Gordon, Avery. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota, 1997

Hartman, Saidiya. Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2006.

Hofmeyr, Murray. “From Hauntology to a New Animism? Nature and Culture in Heinz Kimmerle’s Intercultural Philosophy.” TD: The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa, Vol. 3, No.1, July 2007, 1-38

James, C.L.R. A History of Pan-African Revolt. Oakland: PM Press, 1969

Kelley, Robin D.G. Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. Boston: Beacon Press, 2002

Marks, Laura U. The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment and The Senses. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2000

Mbembe, Achille. On the Postcolony. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 2001

McKittrick, Katherine. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.

Mignolo, Walter D. and Walsh Catherine E. On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, and Praxis. Durham, NC; London: Duke University Press, 2018

Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo J. Coloniality of Power in Postcolonial Africa: Myths of Decolonisation. Dakar: CODESRIA, 2013

Nkrumah, Kwame. Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd., 1965

Robinson, Cedric J. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1983

Scotini, Marco and Galasso, Elisabetta (ed.). Politics of Memory: Documentary and Archive. Berlin: Archive Books, 2017

Sharpe, Christina. In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016

Stoler, Ann Laura. Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995

Wynter, Sylvia. “Unsettling The Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards The Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation - An Argument.” The New Centennial Review, Vol. 3, No. 3, Fall 2003, 257-337

  • Essays — Living with Ghosts, By Kojo Abudu, Jun 28, 2022