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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African modernities and the critical reappropriation of indigenous knowledges: towards a polycentric global epistemology
Author:Mungwini, PascahISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1818-6874)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:African identity
indigenous knowledge
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/18186874.2013.834556
Abstract:The intellectual rehabilitation of African knowledge systems remains an important moral, political and epistemological project for postcolonial Africa. It entails challenging those disparaging discourses about Africa and its supposed ineptitude that served as the pretext for the questionable right of conquest. This article argues that the best way to deal with the colonial past and its painful reality is not to dwell on its ills, but to use it as a platform from which to rebuild forms of consciousness and epistemic possibilities that reaffirm African forms of knowing. This is where the critical reappropriation of indigenous epistemologies becomes important. Reappropriation, like renaissance, considers the return to the past as a return to initiative. The aim is to attain a polycentric global epistemology in which the imperium and tyranny of Western epistemology give way to the creation of a world into which many worlds can fit. The promise of a genuine African modernity is not found in a life of mimesis, but in the ability to reappropriate indigenous forms of knowledge capable of providing alternative interpretive and normative frameworks upon which the epistemic liberation of Africa can be grounded. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]