Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo

Article excerpt

Covington-Ward, Yolanda. Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015, pp.304, ISBN: 978-0-8223-6020-9.

This book examines the everyday embodied practices and performances of the BisiKongo people of the lower Congo to show how their gestures, dances, and spirituality are critical in mobilizing social and political action. Conceiving of the body as the center of analysis, a catalyst for social action, and as conduit for the social construction of reality, the author (an assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh) focuses on specific flash points in the last ninety years of Congo's troubled history, when embodied performance was used to stake political claims, foster dissent, and enforce power. …

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