Identity, diversity, and modernity in an urban cultural cocktail

As a black African dancer, I am constantly expected to conform to stereotypical perceptions of the Western world and of African traditionalists. Africa is widely perceived on the one hand as a war zone ravaged by the Aids pandemic and poverty and on the other hand as exotic, colourful and primitive. I propose to deconstruct this stereotype through my personal history, my work as a performer and choreographer living in a city and my research on urban popular contemporary intercultural dance forms.

I will first examine the development of my personal identity, and the broader perspective of cultural identities in South Africa, and then return to my personal cultural identity as a member of wider South African society.

Read the full essay online.


Publication Type Essay
Publisher African Arts Journal (MIT Press)
Year 2011
Author(s) Gregory Maqoma
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