The unique cultural landscape of southern Africa (Nambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa) is a highly dynamic and complex area where old traditions are confronted by explosive social and political upheavals. The resulting contradictions and conflicts stimulate a directions as well as ancient roots. The collection of highly varied essays by knowledgeable experts on Africa ranges from historical and political problems to questions of artistic production and of how to deal with culture and nature in the face of industrialisation and globalisation. Art is one of the major subjects, and the contemporary artistic activities, including photography. The publication presents a picture of a vigorously alive southern Africa, contradicting common western Cliches which regard the region as having no art and solely being riddled with problems of post-apartheid, crime and AIDS.