ISBN 9789956551651
Pages 62
Dimensions 203 x 127mm
Illustrations Colour Illustrations
Published 2020
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback


by Rosabelle Boswell

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a worldwide pandemic, humanity has been compelled to focus on its quantifiable aspects, that is, how many people were being infected each day, how many were confined to intensive care units and how many had died. These deadly statistics created an impression that all human beings are equal and that in charting the numbers, national governments are managing the crisis. However, and as social media conversation and the work of professionals beyond government has revealed, Covid-19 has significant social and psychological impacts. It has revealed social and class divides, the vulnerability of indigenous communities and the deleterious effects of extreme, narcissistic individualism.

This anthology seeks tend to the range of human emotions experienced in the early phase of the pandemic. It uncovers an inner world that rarely featured in official narratives of the day. In the early days, the narratives and feelings of those under lockdown barely made it into headline news. The anthology therefore gives voice to feelings and seeks to render audible those currently silenced. The poems suggest that all communities speak. The marginalized speak against and through oppression. They are often audible but those in power often choose not to hear them. To emphasize this divide, the poet juxtaposes the emotions of the marginalized with strident, self-focused responses to the crisis, revealing a wide spectrum of human emotions and their impacts. A quiet offering of the book is that emotions matter and can provide deep insight into individual and national psyche.

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About the Author

Rosabelle Boswell

Rosabelle Boswell is an anthropologist and Professor of Ocean Cultures and Heritage at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. She is also a member of the UK GCRF Project the One Ocean Hub. She is author of Le Malaise Creole: Ethnic Identity in Mauritius (Oxford: Berghahn), Representing Heritage in Zanzibar and Madagascar (Addis Ababa: Eclipse); Challenges to Identifying and Managing Intangible Cultural Heritage in Mauritius, Zanzibar and Seychelles (Dakar: Codesria) and Postcolonial African Anthropologies (coedited with F. Nyamnjoh Pretoria: HSRC Press). She has also authored many articles on cultural identity and has done ethnographic fieldwork in South Africa, Mauritius, Zanzibar and Madagascar.  In 2010, she served as a research team leader for the Mauritius Truth and Justice Commission, examining the legacies of slavery. From 2015-2019 she served as Executive Dean of Arts at Nelson Mandela University.

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