Webinar: Niger Delta in Audio-Visual Media with Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia), Anulika Agina (SOAS) and BBC World Service producer, Bairbre Flood

Ide Corley's picture
December 8, 2022
Ireland {Republic}
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Human Rights, Journalism and Media Studies

Register for livestream herehttps://www.eventbrite.ie/e/re-imagining-the-niger-delta-in-audio-visual...

Date and Time: Thursday, December 8th at 4pm GMT

Organiser: Íde Corley (MU English)

Moderators: Íde Corley (MU English) and Anne O'Brien (MU Media Studies)

Renowned writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa was judicially murdered in 1995 for organising a peaceful, mass campaign against the ecological destruction of his homeland, Ogoni in the Niger Delta. During his campaign and since his death, numerous audio-visual documentaries have testified to widescale Ogoni activism against the ecological destruction caused by oil and gas multinationals in the region, challenging the disinformation promulgated by Saro-Wiwa’s enemies and detractors. But what good do such re-tellings serve if, as Jennifer Wenzel (The Disposition of Nature, Fordham UP 2020) has argued, the “spectacular petroviolence” of the Saro-Wiwa story is “so appealing (and horrific)” that it threatens to “hijack the imagination” and hinder our understanding of the complex and unfolding situation in the Delta today? This seminar adopts as its premise her claim that “climate change, fossil fuel dependence, and resource depletion are not merely technological, economic, or political problems but also narrative problems and problems of the imagination”. Taking the Niger Delta as a specific site of representational politics, we envisage a panel discussion among theorists and practitioners of how creating, viewing or listening to audio-visual media texts can be part of environmental praxis and indigenous rights campaigns and climate action.

Professor Jennifer Wenzel is jointly appointed in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. She is an affiliate of the Columbia Climate School. Her first book, Bulletproof: Afterlives of Anticolonial Prophecy in South Africa and Beyond, published by Chicago and KwaZulu-Natal in 2009, was awarded Honorable Mention for the Perkins Prize by the International Society for the Study of Narrative. With Imre Szeman and Patricia Yaeger, she co-edited Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (Fordham 2017). Her recent monograph, The Disposition of Nature: Environmental Crisis and World Literature (Fordham 2020), was a Finalist for the 2020 Book Prize by the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) and was shortlisted for the 2022 Ecocriticism Book Prize awarded by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. As part of the After Oil Collective, she co-authored Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice (Minnesota Forerunners Series, 2022).

Dr. Añulika Agina is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London where she is a member of Nigerian Screen Worlds, a subset of the African Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies Project funded by the ERC. Her background is in media and communication studies with a focus on Nigerian film and culture, which she has been researching since 2009 at the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), Lagos. Her research interests include representations of the past and conflict in film, reception studies, media effects, cinema-going cultures in Nigeria and Ghana, and film and social change, and her published work has addressed portrayals of oil exploration, failed leadership and militancy in Nigeria video film. With Winston Mano and Barbara Knorpp, she co-edited African Film Cultures: Contexts of Creation and Circulation (2017). More recently, she published the first article fully devoted to contemporary cinema-going in Lagos. She was a recipient of the African Film Fellowship at the University of Cape Town in 2016 and co-convenes conferences and roundtables on Nigerian film with scholars and filmmakers on an annual basis.

Bairbre Flood is a freelance writer and journalist living in Ireland who has produced radio documentaries for BBC World Service, Newstalk, and community radio stations. Her podcasts, include Wander, an Irish Arts Council-funded series with writers living in refugee camps in Greece, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Malawi. She has a special interest in migration, the stories of people who are seeking refuge, and how journalists can work together to challenge some of the current narratives around this. Her recent documentary, Silence Would Be Treason: The Documentary, based on Ken Saro-Wiwa’s last letters from detention to Irish nun and solidarity worker, Sr Majella McCarron aired on BBC World Service last January.

This webinar is generously funded by the Maynooth University Department of Media Studies and the Maynooth University Library. With thanks to Anne Byrne (MU Media Studies), Stephanie McLelland (MU English) and the Maynooth University Department of English for technical and administrative support.

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Register for livestream here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/re-imagining-the-niger-delta-in-audio-visual...

Invitation:"(Re-)Imagining the Niger Delta in Audio-Visual Media": A panel discussion with Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia), Añulika Agina (SOAS) and producer, Bairbre Flood.

Thursday, December 8th at 4pm GMT

Moderated by Íde Corley (MU English) and Anne O'Brien (MU Media Studies)

Funded by MU Library, MU Media Studies and MU English.


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