Book Launch: Re-Centering Cultural Performance and Orange Economy in Post-Colonial Africa: Policy, Soft Power, and Sustainability

The Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre (C-SET) at the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina, in collaboration with Theatre Emissary International, presents the online book launch of Re-Centering Cultural Performance and Orange Economy in Post-Colonial Africa: Policy, Soft Power, and Sustainability edited by Taiwo Afolabi, Olusola Ogunnubi, and Shadrach Ukuma, livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 14 March 2023 at 9 a.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 10 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 3 p.m. GMT (London, UTC +0) / 16:00 CET (Berlin, UTC +1) / 4 p.m. WAT (Lagos, UTC +1).

Book blurb

This book explores the role of national theatres, cultural centers, cultural policy, festivals, and the film industry as creative and cultural performance hubs for exercising soft power and cultural diplomacy. It offers perspectives on ways existing cultural and non-cultural infrastructures, sometimes referred to as the Orange Economy, can open opportunities for diplomacy and soft power; avenues by which cultural performances and creative practice can be re-centred in post-colonial Africa and in the post-global pandemic era; and insights for cultural performers, diplomats, administrators, cultural entrepreneurs, and managers to leverage cultural performance and creative practice on the continent. The volume is positioned within post-colonial discourse to amplify narratives, experiences, and realities that are anti-oppressive, especially within critical discourse.


Prof. Cynthia Schneider, Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Co-Director of The Laboratory of Global Performance and Politics, Georgetown University, Co-Director of the Timbuktu Renaissance, and former US Ambassador to the Netherlands.

Dr. Sunnie Ododo, professor of performance aesthetics, theatre practice, and theatre technology, and general manager/CEO of the National Theatre, Nigeria

Dr. Olusola John, head of Department of Aeronautical Information Service, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, and the national public relations officer, Aeronautical Information Management Association of Nigerian (AIMAN), and a research affiliate with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria.

Opening Remarks

Dr. Jeff Keshen, president and vice-chancellor, University of Regina

Dr. Aziz Douai, dean, faculty for graduate studies and research at the University of Regina

Editors’ Bios

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is the Canada Research Chair in Socially Engaged Theatre; the director of the Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre; an assistant professor at the University of Regina, Canada; and a senior research associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He is the founding artistic director of Theatre Emissary International in Nigeria and Canada.

Dr. Olusola Ogunnubi is a research fellow at the University of the Free State and a Visiting Scholar at Carleton University, Ottawa. He received his PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research interests include regional studies, comparative foreign policy, corruption in Africa, African regional power politics, and soft power diplomacy.

Dr. Shadrach Teryila Ukuma teaches cultural performances at Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria. His doctoral thesis focused on the utilitarian role of cultural performances in managing collective trauma amongst victims of farmer/herder conflicts in Benue State. He currently directs the fast-growing Kyegh Sha Shwa Cultural Festival in Benue State.