Literature

Damned Mosquitoes, Damned Frailty

Ill again. After 2 and a half months I hadn’t been sick once, and now it’s twice in two weeks. This time I think it’s a mixture of something I ate and the fact that I got eaten...

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Matriculation and the Turning of the Soil

We are having a matriculation ceremony on Thursday, and suddenly the university is a hive of activity. I swear more has been done in the last week than in the previous two months.  Most if it is...

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The ‘13’ Rules of Left and Learning.

When strange rituals become rules, and rules become superstition.  I have a list in my head of things that make a good man.  The ability to play a good F chord, all frets barred, no muted...

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Slum

The university hostels back on to a slum.  This is in the “Life Camp” area of Abuja.  I have no idea why it’s called that, but apparently it’s where all the workers...

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Patrolling the Edges of Panic Town

An academic navigates the great and small encounters of Ex-Pat life in Nigeria. Yesterday, I loaned my car to Joy and Julius.  She said it was her birthday, and it seemed like a good idea at the...

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The Loneliness of a Long Distance Academy

The university is open, and the experience has been, somewhat predictably, a mixture of the shambolic, the absurd, the vaguely promising and the outright perplexing.  We have a programme for the...

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A Casual Bombing in Nigeria

On the 16th of June there was a bomb blast in Abuja, at the police headquarters.  At the time of writing this they had not released the figures for the number of dead yet, except to confirm that...

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Scenes of Plenty: British Library

'men seek after a better notion of riches and of the art of getting wealth than the mere acquisition of coin'. Essay on Wealth...

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On the Brink of Democracy

Nigeria is a confusing country for the stranger, and the situation only gets worse when you start looking at politics.  As such I’m not going to try and give you a nicely crafted or...

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“The Problem With Nigeria…”

eith and I have decided that the problem with Nigeria is the finish. Or, as Peter would put it, the last ten percent.  Now, I (to borrow from Said) am temperamentally and philosophically opposed to...

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A Welshman arrives in Nigeria

“You have the wrong sort of visa for this sort of consultancy.” I didn’t know what to say so I said nothing, although that was at least partly because I felt like I was about to fall over. ...

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Establishing ‘Conflict’ in the Ivory Coast

As the situation in the Ivory Coast draws to a predictably bloody conclusion, it seems worth asking– why did it take so long for the Western media to cotton on to the situation?  After...

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Politics in Imperial Nigeria

Last night I was invited to a dinner hosted in Debare’s honour, to celebrate the opening of the university.  The meal was arranged by his friends and associates, all of roughly the same...

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Prostitutes in Nigeria

After a few days here, despite all the doom-laden warnings, I was fairly confident that spotting Nigerian prostitutes wasn’t going to be much of a problem.  The Grand Mirage – a kind...

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Prodigy vs Mutiny: Art’s Promising Future? Pt. Two

This review is the second chapter in my critical assessment, Part 1 examined Future Map 10, a pretentious and ostentatious shindig overly concerned with prestige. In this second chapter I am...

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Prodigy vs Mutiny: Art’s Promising Future? Pt. One

Prodigy vs Mutiny: Art’s Promising Future? Pt. One...

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Howard Marks: First there was the Welsh…

Howard Marks has become something of a cult-celebrity. Trebuchet interviews the ex-con about his other 'other' pastime - writing. ...

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The World and Work of Marcel Theroux

Marcel Theroux’s family includes such literary luminaries as father Paul (American novelist and travel writer) and brother Louis (award-winner television journalist). Not to be outdone, he is...

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Zidane: A Strange Form Of Love

Zidane and Camus unlikely bedfellows a discussion of the film and it's implications...

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Bubba Bubble Toil and Trouble

George Soros has created the concept of reflexivity to describe the process of feedback and interaction between perceptions and reality....

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Marcel Theroux: A Blow to the Heart

Marcel Theroux is the son of a travelling writing behemoth (Paul), and older brother of TV’s dissembling clown (Louis). He has said in the past he’d like to be known in his own right. I’ve...

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Howard Marks: Senor Nice

Howard Marks, ex-dope-dealer extraordinaire and veteran of America’s toughest penitentiary, is tonight treading the boards at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, joint in hand and sounding lethargic....

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Will Ashon: Binaries and Dichotomies

Will Ashon made a name for himself as the founder of UK record label Big Dada, the revolutionary hip hop offshoot of the influential Ninja Tunes label. Concurrent to running the label Ashon is also...

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