THAT OUR FUTURE MAY NOT DISAPPEAR: A Concept Note
The global space is clouded with an atmosphere of uncertainty that has dashed the hopes and aspirations of citizens, specifically youths. This has led to frequent incidences of disappearances within the social space.
The poem Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti comes to mind;
“The land is a giant whale
that swallows the sinker,
with hook, line and bait
aborting dreams of a good catch…”
The above poem calls attention to a thematic concern of this year’s WSICE: “Disappearance” According to the dictionary, the word Disappear means to go out of sight or to vanish, especially by imprisoning them (mentally) or killing them secretly, usually for political reasons or to cease to exist. Whatever definition is picked, Disappearance means a threat to human comfortability and survival.
However, beyond the linguistic meaning, there is a need to plod deeper into the contextual interpretation of the word to explore other idiosyncratic manifestations; for example, the social, psychological, cultural, or moral contexts to fully grasp the meaning of the theme: “That our FUTURE may not DISAPPEAR.”
From the Ireland drug cabal disappearance of children, Blacks within the racially structured society in America (Black Lives Matter), The Philippines, even our Chibok girls and #EndSARS protest to mention a few.
Forced disappearances of youth and children have become too frequent and rampant, mostly it is for selfish political objectives of the elites. Scholars have identified three major benefits for the disappearance of an individual in society, usually as engineered by the political operators
* the need to eliminate real or perceived enemies.
* to spread a unique form of fear, trapping the affected families in a state of ambiguous loss and paralyzing the broader society.
* by hiding the body and concealing the crime, they hope to deny its commission and avoid the consequent criminal charges.
For the WSICE, young scholars, intellectuals are invited to plomb through the concept of Disappearance exploring how it could affect the future of our common humanity. When schoolgirls and boys are plucked from their education and forcefully converted to forced spouse or child soldiers and in many cases inducted into criminal enterprises, how do we hope to still mint or guarantee a safe and secured future for our humanity.
The exploration of this theme should not be limited to Nigeria alone, the writer should also look at what is happening in other countries and construct a scenario of rescue for a future so blighted by such anti-human vices.
The goal of the exercise is to have young thinkers wade through the thematic concern and come up with suggestions or proposals on what they think could be done to prevent the recurrence of the act towards safeguarding the preservation of our common human and moral values. It is hoped that the reflection on, and debate of the theme will also cover such sub-themes as
* Disappearance as a political tool,
* Psychological effect of disappearance.
* Disappearance as an identity, trauma, memory factor.
The words of David Diop’s Vultures come to mind and birth memories,
In that time
Laughter gasped its last in theme metallic hell of roads
And the monotonous rhythm of Paternosters
Covered the groans on plantations run for profit
O sour memory of extorted kisses
Promises mutilated by machine-gun blasts