Intersocietal and intercultural interactions are characterized by complexity, dispersion and disorder. Nowhere is this more obvious than in processes of transformation such as democratization or peacebuilding. Moreover, increasing mobility, intensified world trade, extended media coverage, and constantly rising intercultural relations lead, on the one hand, to the search of culturally defined groups for anchors of identity in a disperse and changing world. On the other hand, those confrontations of ‘Otherness’ channel the focus on cultural transfers and intercultural interactions as main source for social transformation and change. Attempts to integrate new impressions into one’s view of the world are made on a daily personal level but are also reflected in an intellectual and political sphere. Yet, the link between literature, paintings, dance, sculptures and their transformative capacities- by and for African actors – remains under-researched.

“Africa” and “Africanity” play a role in many narratives that are not only linked to arts and aesthetics, as major parts of cultural heritage and identity, but also to politics and economics. How does art help shape identities in processes of transformation? How does representation – in both formal and informal settings – incorporate different forms of art? And more historically, in which ways and through which groups of actors have arts and aesthetics been linked to Black/African ideologies (e.g. Négritude, Pan-Africanism of one kind or another, Afrocentrism, Black Power, Black Consciousness)? This panel seeks to bring together a broad range of interdisciplinary area specialists to consider how ‘African’ art aesthetics leads to the transformation of identities, institutions or events in an increasingly globally connected environment.

Please send abstracts by the 14th March 2016 to [email protected]