Can an African culture be said to exist?

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July 23, 2013 By IdaHorner

The topic of our Twitter chat this week was proposed by @sbsebele who was a guest at last week’s chat and the question he would like us to tackle this week is African traditions, culture and cultural practices.

We have tried to unpack these issues behind the scene and we have come up with some interesting questions to mull over

Africa is a diverse continent and with that in mind can an African culture be said to exist?

If so, what is it?

Is it under threat from for instance globalisation, industrialisation or even urbanisation?

By African culture, do we in fact mean African traditions or cultural practices?

This is something that is of interest to us too and as @Postblackhist   said

On a more abstract level, when it comes to the question of African culture, I would be interested in the fundamental question as to whether or not African culture is self-consciously dynamic and dialogic?

Does it invite self-modification, borrowing from other cultures and change? Does it invite mutability, or is it primarily characterised by replication of tradition? I’d like to know people’s thoughts on that, and maybe some sources I could turn to in order to read more about it.

Some  such as Joel Kibazo a BBC journalist have called on Africans to modernise. But what does modernity mean? Does modernity for instance mean westernisation?

Having read Joel’s piece,  @ossobm had this to say

Why must African traditions move forward? Move forward away from what? and move forward to what? This is the basic question of development and modernity….The inherent assumption is that tradition is backward and modernity means progress…which is not always the case.

Most of contributors  agree that this is indeed a meaty topic to tuck into and  we hope you can join us on Twitter on Friday 26 July 2013 at 7pm BST. The hashtag for the chat is #AOTBChat

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