THE WEST AND AFRICANNESS

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Wane Sidina

by Sidina Wane

2015-03-23
 

In the West, the social networks set up by the new communication technologies seem to be mimicking one of the virtues of the communal life of African societies. This new form of social interaction is intended to achieve a compromise between individual freedoms and collective constraints. Cyberspace is creating a way to inhabit space in a new relationship with territory and geography: within space above the earth an abstract and computer-assisted coexistence is introducing a new geometry of borders between public and private worlds.

In the same vein, the ecological awareness now so much a feature of the Western world, establishing the concept of the sacred status of the land, seems very reminiscent of a form of paganism that the West uses in its caricatures of African animist beliefs. Surely there is a connection to be made between the protection of nature, the denunciation of the geocide[1] currently taking place, and a resurgence of the worship of nature practised by the African pagan societies and a new economics?

As a reaction to the financial crisis, new proposals for collaborative economics are appearing in the West,[2] in which the consumer becomes a “productomator” (prosumer/consumer), identifiable by the prefix “co”: co-working, co-travelling (carpooling), co-development, co-ownership, co-preparation, co-usage, co-habitation, co-leasing, co-lunching, co-gardening, etc. which are the expression of a groundswell of sharing and shortages. In their book Vive la co-révolution! Anne-Sophie Novel and Stéphane Riot look at the implications of this phenomenon of “collaborative sharing”, simultaneously supported by the establishment of virtual spaces.

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