n African Performance Review - Dramatising development, not post-colonialism : the Femi Osofisan example

Volume 3, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


This paper examines the concept of "development" in what is today known as "post-colonial societies" in the light of a globalising world. This is engaged through an appraisal of Femi Osofisan's theatre as being surreptitiously designed to engender development within the society of its parturition. The contention is that development is not something that is just recently being handed down solely by the West, but is rather something that indigenous artists have been doing over time. Subsequently, this paper views "post-colonialism" as being antidevelopmental in its construction and attribution of origination of the concept of civilisation to the West through its seeming homogenisation of colonised peoples' cultures into a monolithic appendage of metropolitan culture. Using Osofisan's dramaturgy this paper examines how African dramatists have been charting the course of their own respective peoples' development via innumerable experiments with both foreign and local materials - something that the Western academy, through its myriad critical discursive tools, has erroneously construed as "post-colonials" writing themselves out of Western epistemology, out of colonialism.

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