Transition 120, “You Are Next,” celebrates the artist’s power to capture, convey, and make visible the particularities of marginalized or misrepresented identity. Aida Muluneh’s arresting images play with tropes of nostalgia and hope while defying a century of photographic stereotypes of Ethiopia; filmmaker Khalik Allah offers an intimate, raw look at street life on a Harlem corner; Sheldon Scott takes performances of black burden and respectability to the breaking point for his body, and his audience; and the late Leila Alaoui’s stark, life-sized portraits both illustrate the rich cultural diversity of Morocco and aim to de-exoticize her subjects.
Also, two pillars of the African literary tradition weigh in on “the language question.” Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o decries the “literary identity theft” of Europhone African literature, while Amos Tutuola (in a previously unpublished essay) explains that his ideas are Yorubaish and “African in conception,” though he writes in English. Plus, news from the Christopher Okigbo Foundation! All contributors in this issue nimbly navigate what philosopher Achille Mbembe calls “a geography of circulation and mobility” in his explication of what it is to be Afropolitan. With fiction by Regina N. Bradley; poetry by David Ishaya Osu, Aziza Barnes, Xandria Phillips, and Michelle Whittaker.
Essays by: Amos Tutuola (introduction by Russell Potter), Odette Casamayor-Cisneros, Rima Berns-McGown, M. Neelika Jayawardane.
Interviews: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o with Charles Cantalupo; Achille Mbembe with Sarah Balakrishnan; Khalik Allah with Tommie Shelby; Sheldon Scott with Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw
Fiction by: Regina N. Bradley.
Poetry by: David Ishaya Osu, Aziza Barnes, Xandria Phillips, and Michelle Whittaker.
Artwork by: Aida Muluneh, Leila Alaoui, Dawit L. Petros, Khalik Allah, Paul Onditi, Peterson Kamwathi, Riché Richardson, Siyaka Taylor-Lewis, and Sheldon Scott (cover).