Gender Studies Graduate Research Workshop
Title: Messing up the Narrative: A Feminist Reading of the Nigeria-Biafra War
Presenter: Joachim Ozonze (MA Theology)
The Nigerian Civil War officially ended in 1970. Yet, the country continues to be haunted by the tragic memories and legacies of a brutal war that took over a million lives. Neither the dominant narratives of the war nor government attempts to clean up its memory have proven successful in taming the ghost. On the contrary, these attempts, it seems, continue to fester the wounds that make neither healing nor reconciliation attainable. How might this war be remembered in a way that leads to healing? Using Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, this paper proposes that a feminist reading of the war that messes up the narrative and goes beyond the politics of a victim-perpetrator rhetoric is indispensable for any attempt at remembering the war in a way that may create a space for healing and reconciliation.
Joachim is a second-year student in the Master of Theological Studies program here at the University of Notre Dame, with minor concentrations in Gender Studies, Visual Cultures, and Peace Studies. Working from the context of postwar experiences, his research focuses on the intersections between memory, ritual, healing, and identity.