‘Following’ Teju Cole’s ‘Black Portraitures’
On Zigzagging Between (Digital) Literature, Photography, Art History, Music and Much More…
In this chapter, I will explore ‘black portraitures’ in Teju Cole’s writings, photos, and art history lessons, while ‘following’ his journeying – geographic, literary, photographic, digital – in both his photo essays and criticism Known and Strange Things (2016), Blind Spot (2016), in his novel Open City (2011) and his latest essay collection Black Paper (2021). I intend to study his poetics, his aesthetics and his ethical stance, particularly in relation to his re-formulation of postcolonial paradigms. Intersecting trajectories with works by Caryl Phillips (The European Tribe, 1987) and by Johny Pitts (Afropean. Notes from Black Europe, 2019) will also be considered.
Keywords: Black portraitures • Postcolonial theory • New media • Black intellectuals • Teju Cole