In her brilliant Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice, Krista A. Thompson considers four “lens-centered” aesthetic practices across the circum-Caribbean: street photography in Atlanta and New Orleans; Jamaican dancehall spectacles; extravagant prom entrances in the Bahamas; and the bling aesthetics of contemporary transnational hip-hop. Delving into the histories and visual economies of each, Thompson argues “contemporary diasporic formation takes place in the light of technology, in the flickering, unsettled, reflective and bright surfaces, the pixels, of photographic and videographic representation” (p. 9). Weaving together frameworks from performance studies, visual culture studies, ethnography, and art history, Shine offers an extended and deeply thoughtful meditation on how diasporic communities take up light's simultaneous illuminating and blinding effects as representational possibility and performative excess. For Thompson, shine itself offers...

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