…Pres had a language and a life, like, all his own, but in the teeming whole of us he lived toooting on his sideways horn translating frankie trumbauer into Bird’s feathers Tranes sinewy tracks the slickster walking through the crowd surviving on a terrifying wit its the jungle the jungle the jungle we living in and cats like pres cd make it because they were clear they, at least, had to, to do anything else. Save all that comrades, we need it.
Yang will be joined in conversation by author and PEN American Freedom to Write Fellow, Deji Olukotun (@dejiridoo), and the event will be moderated by Julie Buntin (@juliebuntin), Director of Programs & Strategic Outreach at the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP).
November 10 marked the 18th anniversary of the state execution of writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and the ‘Ogoni 8’.
Not long ago, the Governor of our state in Nigeria said to the Ogonis: ‘Why can’t you people move on?’ The simple answer is that since Ken’s death in 1995 nothing has been done to stop the devastation brought about by unwanted, dirty oil extraction in our homeland.
In the 1950s, before Nigeria won independence, Shell was given the right to drill oil. Ken Saro-Wiwa, like me, was from Ogoniland, an area of the Niger Delta which, like many others, was destroyed by the reckless exploitation of international oil companies, in particular Shell. Saro-Wiwa’s tireless campaigning let the international community know about our struggle – the conflict, pollution, loss of livelihood, food and drinking water. Ken also gave us hope by inspiring us to mobilize against the military government and Shell.