Screening of Movie in Honour of Ken Saro-Wiwa
On the 10th of Nov. 2015, it was twenty years since the judicial murder of environmental activist, Kenule Saro-Wiwa. SMC faculty, Añuli Agina screened a film, Black November (2012), directed by Jeta Amata in honour of the slain activist.
According to Dr. Agina, ‘This is part of a larger project of mine titled Memory, Conflict and Restoration: The Reception of Niger Delta Films on the 20th Anniversary of the Death of Ken Saro-Wiwa. In 2013, I published ‘The Niger Delta in Nigerian Video Films’ (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21681392.2013.815054) . In it, I argued that the formerly-labelled apolitical, ahistorical Nollywood was beginning to engage with politically informed themes. My business then was to examine the politics of representing the Niger Delta in popular films.
Now, I seek to go beyond the politics of representation on to what Milton (2015) insists must be the focus of media research: the “politics of impact” (p.166)’.
The screening was attended by 15 participants. A minute of silence was held in honour of the slain activists before the discussions began. The forum provided opportunities to reflect on Black November’s potential to foster social change or influence policy at any level. Most participants did not think it held such a potential particularly because the burning issues affecting the Niger Delta were treated marginally in favour of sweeping up emotions. One key point for the Dr. Agina was the benefit of holding future screenings with Niger Deltans and non-indigenes of the area, in order to balance expected reactions.