The Rocks Cry Out:
The Nigerian Crisis Through Film and Literature (2010)
A distinguished group of writers, filmmakers and scholars will converge on Brown University in late October as part of The Rocks Cry Out: The Nigerian Crisis in Film and Literature, a three-day festival exploring the artistic response to the political and social upheaval in that troubled country. The Rocks Cry Out is presented by Brown’s International Writers Project, which each year aids a writer who has been subjected to political harassment, imprisonment, or death threats in his or her homeland with a stipend and office space at Brown, as well as assistance in leaving the home country.
The Fall 2010 IWP Fellow is Nigerian fiction writer and documentary filmmaker Dul Johnson. The author of two volumes of short fiction, Johnson, who is a resident of the city of Jos in Nigeria’s troubled Plateau State, has been unable to practice as a writer because of threats of reprisal and unremitting social and political upheaval, including riots and uprisings targeting his ethnic group, the Tarok. He is in residence at Brown through December, and his fiction and films will be featured in The Rocks Cry Out.The festival will begin on Wednesday, October 27, at 6 p.m. with The Crisis in Pictures: Films from Nigeria, a screening featuring Nigerian films The Crux, directed by Kingsley Sunday from a script by Peter Aseme, and Plateau: The Final Frontier, directed by F.O.W. from a script by Ola Williams. A panel discussion featuring Dul Johnson with scholar/artists Obiwu and Deborah L. Klein will follow the screening.
On Thursday, October 28, events will begin at 10 a.m. with a panel discussion, Bringing the News: The Ongoing Crisis in Nigeria, to be followed by a 2:30 p.m. reading from the anthology The Rocks Cry Out by Klein and Obiwu, and a reading by Dul Johnson of his fiction.
At 6 p.m., there will be a screening of Johnson’s documentary film, There is Nothing Wrong With My Uncle, followed by a discussion with Johnson and his collaborator, filmmaker/editor Sylvie Bringas.
The event’s final day will feature a screening of Promised Land, an inside look at the critical story of land reform and racial reconciliation in the new South Africa by documentary filmmaker/journalist and Brown alumna Yoruba Richen. All events are free and open to the public, and will take place in the McCormack Family Theater, 70 Brown St.