My Nostalgia for the Future: Explained.
The title of this blog, ‘My Nostalgia for the Future’ is meant to capture the idea of looking forward optimistically while being critical of the present state…
The name comes from a book, written by Charles Piot. It was one of the best books I have read on post-modernist theory on Africa (not that I spend my time reading a lot of them… too meta- meta most of the time…). Both critical and optimistic, it highlights the history and present condition of African affairs in relation to Post- Cold war and geopolitical measures. One of the lines that truly inspires the message of this blog is:
“…state today subsists more than ever on performance, on presenting an image or simulacrum of itself…”
Here he points out the idea that the state creates images of what it could or should be doing, but does not actually do these things. The notion that (African) governments are largely theatrical in nature and spend more time and money on creative illusions than progress, is one that I hope to explore in my writings. This blog is meant to point out those inconsistencies and highlight ways in which civil society is largely bearing the cross of government. It is also meant to explore issues of development in all of its many forms and facets (political, social, cultural, etc.) from the vantage point of my daily-lived experience as both an outsider (American- born) with Ghanaian roots (Ghanaian- bred). I believe the duality of my identity presents a unique lens and I hope the postings herein will highlight that.
The prose I use is largely conversational and will play between the hoodrat/ratchet existence of my PG County Maryland upbringing and the intellectualism I picked up from a few of the educational institutions that gave me some degrees. In either case, I hope this blog creates dialogue, enlightens and challenges. I am an eternal optimist, and I am very convinced that in the next 20- 30 years, Africa will definitely change its course in history. I also firmly believe that Ghana will spearhead this kink in Africa’s path (as my fave, Acemoglu would call it) and I hope this blog can follow those undercurrents that will change the direction of this Nation…
Marty: What about all that talk about screwing up future events? The space-time continuum?
Doc: Well, I figured, what the hell!