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The black neoliberal aesthetic

Nwonka, Clive James (2022) The black neoliberal aesthetic. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 25 (3). 843 - 862. ISSN 1367-5494

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1367549420973204


This article examines the BBC film NW as a locus for the emergence of a conditional aesthetic of black ‘convention’. I focus on its articulations about black identities to argue that such strategies are symptomatic of a hybridising of neoliberalism and themes of black consciousness in the UK screen industries. The black neoliberal aesthetic describes the mediated outcomes of the commodification of black images and popular narratives for the purpose of both black social engagement and public voyeurism. In identifying the co-opting of ideas of black cultural value by neoliberal hegemony, and accentuating the co-dependency between these in the narrating of the black British experience, I suggest that an influential dynamic constructing a particularly effective justification for black British film allows for a theorisation of the relationship between neoliberalism and mainstream representations of blackness, and how excessive articulations about black moral panic and casualty in NW map onto present-day social concerns over racial representation and cultural diversity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2020 11:21
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 00:48

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