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Title: Angolan body painting performances: Articulations of diasporic dislocation, postcolonialism and interculturalism in Britain
Authors: Cuxima-Zwa, Chikukuango Antonio
Advisors: Richards, ME
Edwards, B
Keywords: Colonialism;Post-colonialism;Diaspora;Identity;Civil war
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University School of Arts PhD Theses
Abstract: This ‘practice-informed’ doctorate research is the beginning of a creative investigation, integration and unification of theory and practice as a method of analysis of ideas about my performances, and the context it emerged from: my experiences of the postcolonial and intercultural relationship between Angola and Britain. It focuses on the trajectories of the self that are ‘re-invented’ as a process of evolution and as a result of migration and dislocation in the British diaspora. It looks deeply at the complex interplay of my practice of body painting, as a symbolic ritual and dance in relation to notions of “origin” and “identity” and other sources of influences. The roots of Angolan cultural traditions and the veneration of the Angolan ancestral spirit when I perform play an important part in my work and this research strives to simplify my ideas of body and spirit, material and aesthetic. However, this research analyses, investigates and interrogates Angolan contemporary arts and artists and the progress of their practice in the Britain postcolonial and intercultural setting. At the core of this research is a comparative interrogation of contemporary art practices, artists and their influences on my work in order to contextualise my own practice and its implications and generative potential. I describe the main artists that influenced my practice (Pablo Picasso, ean- ichael as uiat and ela ansome ni ulapo-Kuti compare my or ith the or s of other non- estern artists oco usco, uillermo me - e a and ani-Kayode) who work with reference to ancient traditions as a fictional and racial identity. Furthermore, it is suggested by Gen Doy that artists working with ancient traditions and producing these types of works in the west are stereotyped and their works are considered backward and unsophisticated; their or s suffered and continue to suffer “discrimination on the grounds of race…” Doy, 2000: 15 n other words, this takes place when these artists attempt to present their works in mainstream western galleries, shows and festivals. I argue that much ancient Angolan tradition has lost its voices through the process of modernisation, civilisation, colonialism and capitalism. The key issue I am addressing is that my performances and the or s of these artists use the body to explore notions of ‘primitivism’ and ‘ethnicity’ and ritual to address personal and cultural concerns. In this light, through the dialectics of practice and theory, this thesis is searching for more attention to be paid to or s derived from concepts of ‘primitivism’ and ‘tribalism’ that are considered inferior ithin the estern parameters of modern art. At the very core of this thesis, propose that the practice of body painting and ‘primitivism’ and ‘tribalism’ are under recognised in the west because of western ideas of racial superiority, civilisation and colonialism (Darwinism).
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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