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Returning to Asaba

October 4, 2011

From Liz Bird and Fraser Ottanelli:

Welcome to the relaunch of our Asaba Memorial blog, which we began last year with our second visit to Nigeria. For any newcomers, we invite you to find out more about our project on the About tab on this blog, or visit our project webpage:

We are back this year, having accomplished some major goals, and with some new ones in mind. Since our last research visit, we have written an article about the massacres in Asaba, drawing largely from the over 40 interviews we have conducted. We’re very pleased that it will be published soon in African Studies Review, the journal of the African Studies Association. We know there are more stories to be heard, and we’ll be interviewing additional people. We’re excited to be participating in the commemoration this Friday of the largest single massacre on October 7, where we have been invited to show a short video that we created about the killing.

Our plan has always been to tell the story of the massacres not only in the academic literature, but to the public as well, and that’s a key objective this time. Along with the video, we’re bringing a proposal to develop a museum quality exhibit, made up of informational panels that capture the history and experience of the people who suffered in 1967. We have two sample panels to show community leaders, and from there, we plan to work with the community to create the exhibit in a way that is accurate, sensitive to community aspirations, and physically sustainable. As we arrive in Nigeria, we’re looking forward to meeting old friends and sharing our vision with them.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Olawoye Olajumoke permalink
    October 4, 2011 3:01 pm

    Hello,I’m really glad you are doing this.I’m a Nigerian and this makes me really proud to be a Nigerian.Thank you

  2. Funmi permalink
    October 6, 2011 10:52 am

    I am a not glad they are doing this. One of the few fortunate things about Nigeria is grivences die with the next generation. Most massccers and there have been many, are forgotten with the next generation. This only keeps the division and victimization alive. Hence why few Igbo young people dwell too much on the massacers during the Biafra. The literature on it is not numerous and it is only remembered by a certain generation. With most of the people in the country under the age of 30, I’m not sure keeping past grievances alive and memorializing them is a good thing.

  3. Sam permalink
    October 13, 2011 5:27 pm

    For the wise who care to make a change, the one thing we learn from history is how to not repeat the horrids of the past, and how to improve and prevent such massacres in the future. Out of these stories you hear the crys of the hurt, let us have the compassion for the broken and strength to stand up against the unjust. Be blessed on your journey to hear their stories. May we have the wisdom and direction from on high.

  4. Stella permalink
    October 18, 2011 2:40 pm

    It is shameful for someone who calls herself a Nigerian name “Funmi” to so wickedly dessicrate the memory of the dead.Many injustices that have been unaddressed in why Nigeria is still in such sorry state.Whether these people are remembered or not, Nigerians know what happened and they are not about to live in denial about it as Funmi would prefer.
    Sir, this is a most laudable venture.I thank you for finding the time and resources to honor our dead.God bless you for this.

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