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Athabasca University

Non-Affiliated Individuals

Non-affiliated individuals had a significant part to play in the sponsorship of colonial print cultures. Most of these sponsors were writers who took on the roles of model and mentor. In some cases, the sponsor developed iconic status. Aside from his prodigious accomplishments as a writer, Rabindrinath Tagore is best known for the university he founded in Bengal. Kenyan author, Ngugi, was able to use his international status as a novelist in order to criticize the government via a cultural centre a theatre he established. Over the course of his writing career, Ngugi has changed both his name and the language he uses for his work in order to mitigate the effects of colonization.

Many non-affiliated sponsors were writers living in exile. Their activities were often crucial in developing foreign markets for colonial texts and in supporting colony-based resistance to colonialism. Aside from such well-known exiles as Wole Soyinka, many less prominent exiles deserve consideration. Charles Bissette, a free mulatto from Martinique, exiled in France, was a tireless pamphleteer for the welfare of blacks in French colonies. In 1834 he founded the magazine, Revue des colonies, which contained not only essays defending the rights of black colonials, but poems and short stories by black writers. 
Non-affiliated individuals might engage in the following practices when acting as sponsors of print culture:

  • modelling the roles of print culture, such as writer, editor, publisher, bookseller, critic, reader: an important demonstration of possibilities for those whose participation in print culture was constrained by the conditions of colonial life;
  • mentoring other individuals in colonies or in exile;
  • mediating between writers and readers within colonies and abroad;
  • advocating for the rights of colonial writers and readers and for their financial support;
  • changing the culture or practices of the organizations with which they were affiliated;
  • establishing print culture-related institutions and programs (this activity could be self-funded).

Likely the best-known non-affiliated individual sponsor of print culture in Papua New Guinea has been Sir Paulias Matane. Through his activities as a writer, teacher, and broadcaster, Paulias Matane has worked tirelessly over the last forty years to encourage cultural expression in Papua New Guinea.





Updated October 13 2016 by Library Services