A UN delegation from Upper Volta (today Burkina Faso) listening to an address by Léopold Senghor, president of Senegal

UN Delegation from Upper Volta

In the decades that followed the Second World War, dozens of former colonial territories gained their independence, radically transforming the international political landscape in the process. Although this did not occur in the same way in every part of the world and its legacy remains uncertain, the end of formal European empire enabled formerly subject individuals to forge new types of alliances across the world, resulting in the rise of the Third World movement. Along with these tremendous political shifts, this era also saw a cultural flowering, as citizens of newly independent nations addressed their new reality through art, literature, and theater.

To learn more see: Okwui Enwezor, ed., The Short Century: Independence and liberation movements in Africa, 1945-1994 (New York: Prestel, 2001).

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