today I am coming to you with a request. Kindly support the talented writer Vivian with her wonderful and important project.
Below, she tells herself what it is about.
BIAFRA STORIES - CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
"My name is Vivian Uchechi Ogbonna and I am an emerging writer from Nigeria. I started writing in 2014 and some of my short stories and articles have been published in ‘Roses for Betty,’ an anthology of short stories by Writivism Literary Initiative, The New Black Magazine, Premium Times, Sahara Reporters and My Mind Snaps.
The Nigeria-Biafra war is a painful part of Nigeria’s history. The war ended forty six years ago but the memories and scars have remained, especially with those who witnessed it. As part of efforts to keep these memories alive, I am compiling fifty stories to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration of Biafra in May, 2017.
The idea for this project came to me because most written accounts about the war are the military exploits between the Nigerian and Biafra soldiers, such as which towns were captured and on which days. Few of them document the experiences of the civilian population – the men, women and children who became victims of the conflict. Those who were adults at the time are very elderly now and may not be alive for much longer, therefore losing their stories will be like losing our voice without the chance of finding it again.
The collection will feature, among other themes, stories about the wounded and the dead; about family members who were separated, perhaps forever; about those who fell in love, got married and started families; about the severely malnourished children who, against all odds, were flown out of Biafra for medical treatment; about families who sheltered strangers; about trade and commerce which was still thriving in spite of the fighting; about the humanitarian organisations that worked tirelessly to bring succour to a dying people.
This is not a political project about the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of the war. My intention is to paint a detailed, well-rounded picture of Biafra in the voices of those who lived through it. In doing so, I hope to humanize these men and women who may not have fought in the trenches but whose lives were changed thereafter.
If you and your family have borne your stories in your heart these past fifty years, and would like to share it with the world, this is a great opportunity to do so. Kindly send your stories to BiafraStories@gmail.com.
Deadline for all submissions is December 31st, 2016. Phone numbers will be made available to people who wish to contribute.