Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 March 2022
The Coda to this book examines the latest edition of Dak’Art, Senegal’s biennial art exhibition, which – while operating in a neoliberal art market – has retained a Pan-African agenda. In Dak’Art 2016, the organizers used various colonial buildings to exhibit contemporary art and thus appropriated the colonial cityscape for its decolonizing agenda. More than 50 years after Senegal acquired its political independence, a nostalgia for Pan-African politics remains on the utopian horizon. In the Coda, this decolonial utopia is situated in a wider temporal landscape of lost and reclaimed futures. In Reinhart Koselleck’s understanding of historical time, the imagination of political alternatives in the historical present assumes an untimely quality. Indeed, as we have seen throughout the book, the process of decolonization is not a linear historical process; rather, it is refracted by ‘uncanny returns, repetitions, and re-enchantments’. The Coda explores how such untimely temporalities are embodied in the African Renaissance Monument, inaugurated in 2010 to celebrate Senegal’s independence amidst widespread dissatisfaction with government politics. It posits that the imagination of African futures is as untimely as it ever was.
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