Créolité and Creolization

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Edited by: Okwui Enwezor Texts by: Juan Flores, Stuart Hall, Isaac Julien, Gerardo Mosquera, Annie Paul, Derek Walcott u.a. English September 2003, 276 Pages, 31 Ills. Softcover 230mm x 167mm
ISBN: 978-3-7757-9084-0

Increased and accelerated processes of cultural syncretism have produced new configurations of identity for which theories of hybridity, métissage and cosmopolitanism have been deployed and reworked in order to capture the polycentric and polysemic aspects of a new political philosophy of the Other. Under pressure from localized resistances, these terms no longer provide adequate frameworks for articulating the critical issues of difference and the asymmetry of evolving contemporary cultures. Beginning as a full-fledged literary movement in the late 1980s in the French Caribbean, Créolité ventured into the "chaos" produced by history to reclaim nationalist Creole identities. As a hypothesis of cultural production, the subsequent process of creolization reaches far beyond the plantation cultures of the Caribbean, towards a conceptualization of a non-totalitarian consciousness of preserved diversity that has its contested terrain within language, identity, politics, religion, and culture. Transcending still entrenched postcolonial and imperialist narratives of domination and resistance, center and periphery, creolization as a theory of creative disorder analyses active urban contest and contact zones in flux. It expresses a need for particularization that, by embedding Creole dynamics into sociopolitical and sociolinguistic histories, reformulates territories of art, architecture, dance, film, music, poetry, cuisine, oral literature, magic, and carnival.