This is a past event. You can view the recording here. The audio transcript is available here.
Panelists: Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Abdulbasit Kassim, Titilope Sonuga, Mona Eltahawy
Moderator: Ainehi Ejieme Edoro
This special event is part of The Decade Project, a series of creative and intellectual explorations designed to celebrate Brittle Paper’s 10-year anniversary and the evolution of African literature since 2010. The creative writers, journalists, and academics on the panel will explore the kidnap of the Chibok girls, an event that defined the decade in many ways and that inspired a collection of really trenchant writing. By revisiting the event, panelists will discuss its significance, how the story has continued to reverberate through the years, and how documenting the systemic violence inherent to the girls’ kidnapping can offer possibilities for healing.
Titilope Sonuga is a writer and performer whose work has graced stages and pages across the globe. Through her practice, she grasps for moments of tenderness and persistent joy at the intersection of blackness and womanhood. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Down to Earth (2011), Abscess (2014) and This Is How We Disappear (2019) and has released two spoken word albums, Mother Tongue (2011) and Swim (2019). Titilope is the writer of three plays, The Six; an intergenerational exploration of womanhood, Naked; a one-woman play and Ada The Country, a musical. She has facilitated numerous youth and adult poetry workshops locally and internationally. Her writing has been translated into Italian, German and Slovak. www.titilope.ca www.twitter.com/deartitilope www.instagram.com/titilope
In This Is How We Disappear, Titilope Sonuga moves deftly from narrative to lyric, from melancholy to a fierce joy, from ethical negotiations to fierce resistance, from exploration of gender and power, and family intimacies, to small yet poignant and often startling moments of lucidity, all set to the unique music of her style and language. Strong, important and moving. – Chris Abani, Sanctificum and Hands Washing Water Titilope Sonuga’s collection depicts, with daring grace, the often brutal and fevered journey from girlhood to womanhood. Opening with the Chibok school kidnappings in her native Nigeria, Sonuga’s poetry employs itself as cartographer of survival, mapping out the true lineage of resilience and joy–the defiant matriarchs of her bloodline, “blooming on barren land. – Rachel McKibbens, Blud, Pink Elephant and Into the Dark & Emptying Field
Abdulbasit Kassim is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Religion Rice University and a Visiting Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Islamic Thought in Africa at Northwestern University. His primary field of research is Islam and Africana Studies.
His research focuses on the Intellectual and Social History of Africa (with emphasis on Islam in Western and Central Sudanic Africa), History of Islamic Thought, Africa and African Diaspora Religions, Islam and Race in America, Arabic-Ajami Codicology and Textual Anthropology, Africology and Postcolonial Studies, Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Societies, and Religion in International Relations. Abdulbasit’s first book, The Boko Haram Reader: From Nigerian Preachers to the Islamic State (co-edited with Michael Nwankpa) was published by Hurst and Oxford University Press in 2018.
Twitter – @scholarakassi1