The "Legacies of Biafra" conference seeks to explore the on-going impact of the war locally and globally, considering how the first civil war in independent Africa has influenced the perception of the continent internationally as well as its impact on the political and social structures within Nigeria.
As 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of war, this conference will provide a timely reflection on the war as a watershed moment in contemporary African history. The Nigeria-Biafra war sparked strong reactions from around the world. British participation in the war was informed by the desire to maintain the colonial entity that they had created, as Biafra’s declaration of independence presented a challenge to the legitimacy of African countries created during the colonial era. Global media coverage presented the first images of children starving in Africa, which became the dominant visual representation of the continent in the international press, and one of the lasting impacts of the war.
The conference will explore the consequences of the war, which include changes to Nigeria’s social and political structures, approaches to intervention in conflict zones and developments in humanitarian assistance. It will also explore trauma, internal displacement and the psychology of conflict resolution. The organisers are particularly interested in papers that engage with the following themes:
- Christopher Okigbo and his Generation: Biafra’s Loss of Life and Talent
- Women and Biafra: Women’s Contributions during the War and the Post-War Recovery Period
- The War and its Key Actors
- Trauma, Memory and Re-Membering
- Biafra and the World
- In the Wake of Biafra: Developments in Humanitarian Assistance
- Biafra’s Child Refugees in West and Central Africa
- Physical and Spiritual Displacement and the War
- Post-War Religiosity and Narratives of Survival
- The Ahiara Declaration and its Pan-African Vision
- Britain and Biafra
- Post-War Cultural Nationalism and the Shifting Margins of Identity
Please email abstracts of up to 300 words including the paper title, your name, current position, institutional affiliation (where applicable), email address and phone number in an attached word file to info[at]Igboconference[dot]com and le7[at]soas.ac[dot]uk .
Presenters will be invited to submit expanded versions of their papers to be considered for publication in an edited book. Participants are responsible for sourcing their own funding for travel, accommodation and conference fees.
Conference Venue: Brunei Gallery at SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London WC1H 0XG,UK
Dr Louisa Uchum Egbunike
Manchester Metropolitan University