A Creole Experiment: Utopian Space in Kamau Brathwaite's Video-style Works

A Creole Experiment: Utopian Space in Kamau Brathwaite's Video-style Works
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Kamau Brathwaite s writing covers a whole range of creative expression. The most distinctive is his now well known Sycorax video style . Its experiment with different font sizes and layouts not only challenges the limits of the text but expresses a sustained engagement with the political reality of contemporary West Indian life. Brathwaite s creole cosmos is an expression of both a global collision of cultures and a utopian vision for which the Caribbean is presented as a model. In this sense, Brathwaite s work is in dialogue with current debates about the global dimension of creoleness and creolization whilst critiquing them at the same time. This study reads the utopian aspect of Brathwaite s major video-style works in conjunction with the concepts of Heimat (homeland) and concrete utopia developed by philosopher Ernst Bloch in The Principle of Hope. As part of the utopian dimension of his writing project, Brathwaite interrogates and reinterprets the conventions of magical realism. Unlike mainstream Latin American magical realism, Brathwaite s work is radical in both form and content, developing a distinctly creole aesthetics. Brathwaite s vision of the magical reality of the creole cosmos questions the conventional meaning of utopian. His vision of a creole cosmos does not refer to an ideal place, but is concrete in its reference to an often dismal day-to-day existence. One of the main objectives of Brathwaite s magical realism is to find ways of connecting the act of writing with a sense of place and with the lived reality of the Caribbean in the hope that writing creates and recreates that reality.

Paperback: 324 pages Publisher: Africa World Press, Inc.; First edition (June 22, 2009) Language: English ISBN-10: 1592215637 ISBN-13: 978-1592215638 Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches Shipping Weight: 1 pounds