An Image of Africa in Sihle Khumalo's Dark Continent My Black Arse

Parody as Counter-Travel

in Journeys
Author:
Maureen Amimo Stellenbosch University amimomaureen2@gmail.com

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Abstract

The history of travel writing positions the genre as a form that invents and circulates problematic image(s) of Africa. Emerging from this biased background, postcolonial African travel writing offer reimaginations regarding how to think about the continent differently. This article explores how Sihle Khumalo's Dark Continent My Black Arse, performs this reimagination through counter-travel. I interrogate Khumalo's appropriation of parody on three sites—naming, landscape, and the body—to counter the prevalent (mis)representation of the continent and propagate alternative ways of imagining Africa in travel writing. This article argues that although parody as counter-travel strategy is a poignant tool for critiquing the negative representation, authorial prejudices allow for slippages that propagate the same set of biases the form intends to critique.

Contributor Notes

Maureen Amimo is a PhD candidate in the English studies department at Stellenbosch University. Her research interests include mobility studies and experimental writing. Her current research is concerned with politics of representation in contemporary African travel writing. E-mail: amimomaureen2@gmail.com

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