In Africa, I Will Fleece You (1992), Jean-Marie Teno poses the fundamental paradox of Africa’s political culture, which is “why do countr[ies] once composed of well-structured traditional societies . . . fail to succeed as state[s]?” (Teno, 1992). This chapter opens with this quote because, like Teno, it recognizes the porosity between the concept of nation-state and symbolic systems and how the state of exception becomes naturalized in African politics. Symbolic systems of representation are important because they mean grasping the deep symbolic and psychosocial processes that for a century of colonization have worked to structure the contemporary state in Africa in order to change them. For the African fi lmmaker, such as Jean-Marie Teno, it underlines the challenges to rethink, dismantle, and reverse, piece by piece, powerful Western symbolic apparatuses and their deep resonance and psychic imprint on African colonial narratives and old sociopolitical order, working to keep the image of a continent as a unifi ed, antiquated, and recalcitrant culture against the values of enlightenment and democracy.