• Exploring postcolonial trauma in Nigeria as stimulus for creating new plays

      Agboaye, Isikhuemen (2018-06-01)
      This research is situated within the practice-led method, enabling me as a playwright to gain stimulus for creating trauma informed plays. The framework for creating such plays in this research is the centre-periphery concept (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 2013, 43) situated with the imagined nation as backdrops for understanding postcolonial trauma. In order to gain stimulus for playwriting in this research, I explored Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman to understanding postcolonial trauma in my part of Africa, being Nigeria. I also explored other sources for the purpose of gaining stimulus from embedded trauma motifs, useful for writing The Longest Snake, The Endless Walk and the Alternative plays. The Alternative plays draw meanings from the initial plays and are interventive and socio-dramatic; revealing how trauma may be understood from other perspectives. The originality of this research and contribution to knowledge may be perceived in the new plays which incorporate trauma notions; the role of the ‘circle’ in conceptualisation and the use of the ‘centre-periphery’ concepts as template for playwriting and analysis. The originality may also be inferred from the interventive relevance of the created plays, touching on how postcolonial trauma may be understood from the lens of the imagined nation, and events in the centre-periphery context. It is also important to mention how the collectives are traumatically affected by the negative effects of colonisation as mirrored in the textual sources explored. Equally relevant are my personal experiences and the African folklore and folktale milieu, which are relevant for understanding postcolonial trauma through praxis; reiterating Gray and Marlins’ (2016: 2) thoughts that ‘We learn most effectively by doing – by active experience, and reflection on that experience,’ which may be seen in the context of the practice-led approach I adopted in this research.