The Week on Sunday (weekly)

  • The feminist is an affect alien, estranged by happiness. We can understand the negativity of the figure of the feminist killjoy much better if we read her through the lens of the history of happiness, which is at once the history of associations. Feminists, by declaring themselves feminists, are already read as destroying something that is thought of b others not only as being good but as the cause of happiness. The feminist kill joy spoils the happiness of others; she is a spoilsport because she refuses to convene, to assemble, or to meet up over happiness. In the thick sociality of everyday spaces, feminists are thus attributed as the origin of bad feeling, as the ones who ruin the atmosphere, which is how the the atmosphere might be imagined (retrospectively) as shared.

    tags: Joy KillJoy Feminism SaraAhmed

  • WE THINK that to deal with art we ought to present it, not talk about it. For four months we opened our window to artists producing the finest work in Nigeria, Africa and elsewhere, and the result is what you will see. Seeing is ultimately a trafficking in subtlety, especially if that process of seeing is influenced by art.

    What, exactly, is art? Since at Saraba we’re open to this kind of questioning that is essentially a voyage, the kind that assembles literary content, art is a process as well as an outcome. Art is the reverberation of colour; art is approaching an image with ambivalence; art is looking at a story or a poem and feeling within oneself for emotions and experiences; art is the experience with yourself.

    tags: Saraba Nigeria NigerianLiterature

  • a formidable organiser and central figure in the civil rights movement, was a complex and compelling figure. Raised a Quaker, his political development would take him through pacifism, communism, socialism and into the civil rights movement in dramatic fashion. In 1944, after refusing to fight in World War Two, he had been jailed as a conscientious objector. It was primarily through him that the leadership would adopt non-violent direct action not only as a strategy but a principle. “The only weapons we have is our bodies,” he once said. “And we have to tuck them in places so wheels don’t turn.”

    tags: BayardRustin MarchOnWashington CivilRights USA

  • As Nigerians we have failed to understand the importance of literature in facilitating knowledge of history and stimulating a collective imagination adequate to the problems we face. We constantly strive to emulate countries like the United States and the UK, but we don’t emulate properly, after all true knowledge demands we filter what we observe and practice what we have learnt. What have we learnt about literature? Have we realised that the US owes the fundamentals of its democracy to the French enlightenment philosophers who wrote books on rights and freedom? We neglect our own “enlightenment philosophers” at our peril.

    tags: Nigera Literature

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