Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Call for Proposals/Call for Poems to Commemorate Ken Saro-Wiwa

Deadline is June 30th to submit ideas for a LIVING MEMORIAL, which will, according to the REMEMBER KEN SARO-WIWA website, be Britain's first deliberately mobile memorial. It will have the ability to be toured to as many as six locations in London during 2006-07. The competition is open to everyone, people from the arts, design, and architecture, as well as those from non-arts backgrounds. Go to the website for the guidelines and more info.

Deadline is also June 30th for submitting original tribute poems to be included in the anthology to be titled DANCE THE GUNS TO SILENCE: 100 POEMS INSPIRED BY KEN SARO-WIWA (forthcoming, November 10, 2005).

Send poetry submissions to: More information at this link from the main website.

For those who do not know of Saro-Wiwa, his execution in Nigeria which left "blood" on the hands of Shell Oil, and Saro-Wiwa's lasting legacy of struggle for self-determination and resistance against devastation of his people, the Ogoni, this is the year to catch up and know. This coming November (2005) will mark the 10th anniversary of Saro-Wiwa's execution (by hanging) for crimes he did not commit.

Scholar Anthony Guneratne, Professor at the National University of Singapore has offered a well-written essay about Saro-Wiwa's legacy titled "The Death of Ken Saro-Wiwa and The Persistence of Colonialisms."

Guneratne begins his essay by re-stating a question posed by an impatient colleague: "When does the state of postcoloniality end?...I answered my progressive friend as succinctly as I could: 'When we stop putting ropes around the necks of our writers so that their oil pipelines are kept clear.' This was shortly after the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was put to death for having led the protests of the Ogoni people against the exploitation of their lands by Western petroleum companies."

Read this essay in its entirety here. And don't forget to submit your ideas for the LIVING MEMORIAL and poems for the anthology publication as soon as possible.

!Saro-Wiwa! !Presente!

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