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Africa in Europe and Europe in Africa

Reassessing the Cultural Legacy

Edited By Yolanda Aixelà-Cabré

This book studies the Afro-European and Euro-African past and present from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. It addresses Africa as a whole, eschewing historical divisions between North and Sub-Saharan Africa. Its content exemplifies the extent to which the histories of Europe and Africa are intertwined, and the way European sources are usually privileged in the writing of historical accounts of cross-cultural encounters. Using post/decolonial studies, the authors' point of view is based on anthropology, history, ethnomusicology, and film and literary studies. The authors argue that mutual experiences and imaginations have affected how cultural heritage and legacy are conceived and thought of, as well as memories and sociopolitical experiences. The aim is to establish and encourage a broader knowledge of Africa–Europe and Europe–Africa encounters, incorporating case studies of Euro-African and Afro-European legacies. The final goal is to favour a more relational point of view by comparing Euro-African and Afro-European realities.

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Africa in Europe, Europe in Africa: Introduction: YOLANDA AIXELÀ-CABRÉ

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YOLANDA AIXELÀ-CABRÉ

IMF-CSIC (Spain), Barcelona

Analytical Approach to Africa in Europe and Europe in Africa

Africa in Europe and Europe in Africa is a book that allows us to reflect on the Euro-African and Afro-European past and present from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective.1 It seeks to explore the depth of the African subsumption by European narratives about Euro-African and Afro-European encounters and assess the place of Africa in Europe and Europe in Africa. As Small (2018: 1193–1194) has pointed out, the contemporary relationship between Europe and Africa started with Europe in Africa.

The way Africa–Europe/Europe–Africa relations are presently described is profoundly undermined by ideological and methodological barriers that obstruct knowledge and critical thinking about existing narratives (Lindgren 2001). This book’s merit is that it deepens knowledge about the relationship between Europe and Africa from an interdisciplinary perspective, holding up a mirror that shows how European versions and points of view prevail over African ones.

To move beyond European perceptions of Africans from the 20th century it is necessary to analyze Europe–Africa ‘dis-encounters’ using multiple methodologies. The book details the extent to which the histories of Europe and Africa are intertwined, and the way European sources are usually privileged in the writing of historical accounts of cross-cultural encounters. The authors of this book have spent years reflecting on the need to enrich oral and written sources. Merolla (2012, 2017), Aixelà-Cabré (2011, 2019)...

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