The large-scale Pan-African festivals held in Senegal, Algeria, and Nigeria (1966–77) are recognized as central to forging a transnational repertoire of cultural practices and memories that are the bedrock of a post-independence global black consciousness. Nevertheless, such festivals necessarily privileged certain artists and cultural workers with the means and/or governmental and United Nations support to travel. During the same era, popular print magazines became an important vector of transnational black affinities. In the case of Bingo magazine (based in Paris and Dakar and distributed throughout the Francophone world), I show that popular print facilitated the emergence of global black consciousness by showcasing figures of literal mobility such as women working in sports and transportation sectors. The magazine’s format celebrated individual achievement and featured short profiles and extensive photography encouraging readers to vicariously experience the transnational affiliations of which featured personalities partook. Bingo’s eclectic content displayed a global black consciousness entangled in aspirational consumption. The magazine advanced sensibilities related to the cultural festivals but also appealed to Africans with less overt Pan-Africanist political goals, for whom imagining mobility was central to a modern habitus. That story of modern mobility was couched as a transnational one. It mattered that Senegalese, Gabonese, and Ivorian readers followed each others’ progress, suggesting that the magazine’s local print transnationalism in this key period adds texture to our understanding of global black consciousness.
Tsitsi Jaji; Bingo Magazine in the Age of Pan-African Festivals: A Feminist Archive of Global Black Consciousness. Nka 1 November 2018; 2018 (42-43): 110–123. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10757163-7185749
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