Let us agree on a code,
a little secret code,
that you can send me,
the moment it crosses my mind to betray a dream.
Beauty, in our sea’s distance: we have to confess why your face is sweet, yet your hands hard, and your body now in knots, on the embers of our charcoal fires.
Beauty, beauty yet for unknown stars, beauty for peoples. And salt in seed, and rain for uncured lands.
The solution to this theoretical impasse—between modernists and communitarians, Eurocentrists and Africanists—does not lie in choosing a side and defending an entrenched position. Because both sides to the debate highlight different aspects of the same African dilemma, I will suggest that the way forward lies in sublating both, through a double move that simultaneously critiques and affirms. To arrive at a creative synthesis transcending both positions, one needs to problematize each.
Trying to construct ideas and images afresh, by staying close to concrete experience, for the purpose of alleviating a common reality that is felt to be intolerable—this seems to me fair work for the imagination.