Accepted Paper:

An African City: dismantling tradition, sexual gaps and stereotypes  


Barbara Fraticelli (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Paper short abstract:

The web series An African City, focused on a group of Ghanaian and Nigerian born women, returned to their home continent, shows the urban space of Accra as a versatile space, capable of tormenting with power cuts and shortages, but also offering new perspectives of what being an African urban woman means.

Paper long abstract:

Nicole Amarteifio, creator of the web series An African City (2014-2016), gives voice and contextualizes the daily experiences of a group of returnees to Ghana, transforming the city of Accra into an exuberant place where five westernized women can choose to live and carry on their professional projects and their relationships.

A traditionally hostile space in literature, the African city emerges here as a suitable place to carry out sexual, religious, economic and social taboos breaking-off. The main characters experience long power cuts, traffic jams in parking lots, failed deliveries in goods bought online, but are still eager of living in their home country, since they are aware of being a part of a deep social and urban revolution.

Each episode's structure presents the lacks and deficiencies of the city, but at the same time it shows the urban space as a place filled with opportunities that enables its inhabitants to rediscover themselves and their essence.

Themes like Orientation, Anonymity, Encounters and Cultures (Weinstein: 2007) play an important role in the series, as all these women are raised in Western countries, and have to face a new life - not as simple as it may seem - finding their way in the city, which means, metaphorically, finding their true Identity.

Panel P173
The Urban African Space and Its Marginal Literatures/Performances