Cajetan Iheka, "African Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics" (Duke UP, 2021)


In African Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics (Duke UP, 2021), Cajetan Iheka examines the ecological footprint of media in Africa alongside the representation of environmental issues in visual culture. Iheka shows how, through visual media such as film, photography, and sculpture, African artists deliver a unique perspective on the socioecological costs of media production, from mineral and oil extraction to the politics of animal conservation. Among other works, he examines Pieter Hugo's photography of electronic waste recycling in Ghana and Idrissou Mora-Kpai's documentary on the deleterious consequences of uranium mining in Niger. These works highlight not only the exploitation of African workers and the vast scope of environmental degradation but also the resourcefulness and creativity of African media makers. They point to the unsustainability of current practices while acknowledging our planet's finite natural resources. In foregrounding Africa's centrality to the production and disposal of media technology, Iheka shows the important place visual media has in raising awareness of and documenting ecological disaster even as it remains complicit in it.

Dr. Cajetan Iheka is a Professor in the English Department at Yale University. Before African Ecomedia he published Naturalizing Africa: Ecological Violence, Agency, and Postcolonial Resistance in African Literature in 2018, which won two prizes - the Ecocriticism Book Award of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and the African Literature Association First Book Prize. Dr. Iheka has also edited the volume, Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media, and co-edited another titled African Migration Narratives: Politics, Race, and Space.

Sara Katz is a Postdoctoral Associate in the History Department at Duke University.

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Sara Katz

Sara Katz is a postdoctoral fellow in the Arts & Humanities Grant Studio at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research examines the history of the Nigerian hajj in the colonial and postcolonial periods. Her interests include Muslim-Christian relations, visual culture, and global Islam.

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