The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar

The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar

The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar

The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar

Synopsis

"This fascinating study, grounded in vivid depictions of local life, relates to larger questions about the postcolonial exercise of political and economic power, when ostensibly sovereign states such as Madagascar are so profoundly controlled by international organizations unattached to any particular state. Sharp asks how young people in these radically changing circumstances are taught and teach themselves to understand their past, present and future."--Gillian Feeley-Harnik, author of "A Green Estate"

"Sharp's work is in the best tradition of classic anthropology, extending the critiques of Fanon, Mannoni, Memmi, and Freire by examining the effects of the socialist revolution, the birth of Malagasy nationalism, and the imposition of a postcolonial pedagogy on the minds of the 'sacrificed generation.' Her detailed ethnography is superb."--Nancy Scheper-Hughes, author of "Death without Weeping"

Excerpt

In June 1993, I returned to Madagascar following an absence of six and a half years, and by the end of my first day back, my head was swimming. The recent shift from isolationist socialism to open market trade was evident everywhere in the central highland capital of Antananarivo. The streets were choked with new cars and trucks, many of them pricey all-terrain vehicles, including the one my friends had borrowed in order to pick me up at the airport. Colorful billboards lined our route, some with three-dimensional frames capable of automatically displaying a repetitive series of images. For an instant, I thought I was in the French countryside. As we reached the outskirts of town, the air seemed terribly polluted, the car fumes burning my eyes, nose, and throat. The neighborhood where I regularly stay was full of new construction projects, yet it also swarmed with more katramy (the homeless) than I remembered. This was not the island nation I remembered from 1987, and I found myself staring out the car window in wonder. By the end of the day, I was exhausted. I had arrived at 6:00 a.m., after nearly twenty hours of flying; followed by a full day of carousing with old friends and surrogate kin, I was so tired I could hardly stand. Around 7:00 p.m., a group of us sat down in the family parlor in order to watch television before dinner, as had sometimes been our habit when I had lived here before. I settled into a comfy armchair, hoping to take a brief nap before we reassembled at the table.

I had anticipated either a stilted presentation of the national news or a boring and sappy historic drama imported from Brazil, a soap-opera-style program aired over the course of many nights, the characters' lives hopelessly entangled and plagued by unrequited love, infidelity, greed, treachery, and murder. In 1987, there had been only one, government-controlled television station in Madagascar, and the programming was predictable, with shows sometimes running uninterrupted . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.