"Lusophone Africa: Beyond Independence" is a study of the contemporary cultural production of Portuguese-speaking Africa and its critical engagement with globalization in the aftermath of colonialism, especially since the advent of multiparty politics and market-oriented economies.
Exploring the evolving relationship of Lusophone Africa with Portugal, its former colonial power, and Brazil, Fernando Arenas situates the countries on the geopolitical map of contemporary global forces. Drawing from popular music, film, literature, cultural history, geopolitics, and critical theory to investigate the postcolonial condition of Portuguese-speaking Africa, Arenas offers an entirely original discussion of world music phenomenon Cesaria Evora, as well as the most thorough examination to date of Lusophone African cinema and of Angolan post-civil-war fiction.
Throughout, Arenas evokes the rich multidimensionality of this community of African nations as a whole and of its individual parts: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique, and Sao Tome and Principe since they gained their independence in the mid-1970s. In doing so, he puts forth a conceptual framework for understanding, for the first time, recent cultural and historical developments in Portuguese-speaking Africa.
"Lusophone Africa is a pioneering, exceedingly well researched and well-documented study of important aspects of Lusophone African cultural expression in their postcolonial social and political contexts. Along with being a significant scholarly work, because of Fernando Arenas' numerous visits to the Lusophone African countries, where he has met with many eminent musicians and singers, movie makers, and authors of literary works, this book is also a very captivating memoir.' -Russel G. Hamilton, Vanderbilt University