Thursday, 22 October 2015

Noo Saro-Wiwa launches Ken Saro-Wiwa postgrad award

On 10 November 1995, the Nigerian military regime executed author, ecological and indigenous rights campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight other activists on trumped-up charges. Their real crime was to oppose Shell's activities in the Niger Delta.

This November, on the 20th anniversary, the writer and journalist Noo Saro-Wiwa, daughter of Ken, will give a reading and launch the Ken Saro-Wiwa Postgraduate Award at Maynooth University. The award is funded by the royalties from Silence Would be Treason: Last Writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa and supports postgraduate work on a theme relevant to Saro-Wiwa's life and work and which is likely to make a public contribution in keeping with his own practice. Award-winner Graham Kay's research looks at the race for oil at the turn of the twentieth century and how state policy in Britain and Germany became so closely tied to oil.

The issues for which Saro-Wiwa gave his life remain live ones today: Shell is running smug advertisements celebrating the forthcoming production on the Corrib gas field while they have been forced to abandon their drilling in the Arctic. Fracking and other drilling is being defeated in Northern Ireland while movement conflicts are intensifying in the runup to November's climate change talks in Paris. In the Niger Delta, conflict continues between Shell and the indigenous Ogoni population over how to implement the environmental clean-up of the damage caused by the oil industry over decades.

For more information and to reserve a place see this page.