Blog entries from: alligator legs

film, writing & life by iquo essien

1 to 10 of 21

March 27 2014

From alligator legs Thu Mar 27 2014, 12:29:00

I recently read some letters by the late, great playwright Lorraine Hansberry on display at the Brooklyn Museum. She wrote lists of things she loved, hated, and regretted on her birthdays.

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March 26 2014

From alligator legs Wed Mar 26 2014, 01:11:00

I am five (or six or seven) years in to this memoir project and just today realized what I am writing. I have been talking about the book for some time now, but it takes awhile to sit with it, let it marinate in your bones, and have an epiphany. What I realized is: There were the people who stayed after the Biafran Civil War, and those who left, like my parents. I am writing about the latter. It is an interesting kind of experience contextualizing it, understanding where I fit in. It somewhat blew my mind for a minute today, but I am glad to be able to articulate it succinctly now, having spent so much of my life on this project. Writing a book is hard. There is the writing that, for me, comes before the understanding, the organizing and consolidating. Then there is the process of figuring ...

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March 17 2014

From alligator legs Mon Mar 17 2014, 16:37:00

Confession: I don't always keep up with Naija news because so often it describes a place so macabre I shudder to claim it. Plane crashes. Students killed by Boko Haram. Gang rape on a college campus. Gays banned. If I were not Nigerian, I think, I might never go to such a place. At least, the Nigeria in the news is a backwards place intent on annihilating itself.

Far worse, in the Twitterverse, is the real Nigeria according to Nigerians. The story behind the story behind the story. I have stopped following certain people who have a tendency to explore every sordid, depressing detail. Go to hell, I think, and take all the other realists with you. Like the law of attraction, I have convinced myself that focusing only on the good parts will make the others disappear.

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March 14 2014

From alligator legs Fri Mar 14 2014, 17:59:00

I am 10 the first time I remember being asked this question, Do you have a boyfriend? We are sitting at a church table for religious education on a Saturday morning. It is our first session and we are getting to know each other. The teacher tells us to write a secret about ourselves on a slip of paper and fold it up. I cannot remember what mine said, perhaps that I played the violin, or some such. She collects the slips and opens one at random: I HAVE A BOYFRIEND, she reads, and asks us to guess who wrote it.

There are only two girls in the class: me and Kisha. Everyone turns to me. Do you have a boyfriend? they ask. I say no; they are surprised. I should have one, I am told, because I am pretty. I look at Kisha, who giggles into her palm. She has not come clean yet, and I realize they do ...

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March 7 2014

From alligator legs Fri Mar 7 2014, 12:12:00

I have never seen a commercial for International Women's Day (March 8), so I made one. Watch, share and let's celebrate! --AL.

//\\//\\FOLLOW ME//\\//\\

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January 27 2014

From alligator legs Mon Jan 27 2014, 21:19:00

Tambay and the good folks over at Shadow and Act big upped my fundraiser for AISSA'S STORY, a feature film inspired by the DSK trial. So grateful! If you'd like to contribute and keep the dream alive, check out my Fractured Atlas page. All donations are tax deductible. To keep track of the film's progress, visit: Peace, AL.

//\\//\\FOLLOW ME//\\//\\

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December 31 2013

From alligator legs Tue Dec 31 2013, 18:02:00

can i please put a pin in busiswa's ngoku and everything coming out of kalawa jazmee records? this song is my everything.

//\\//\\FOLLOW ME//\\//\\

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From alligator legs Tue Dec 31 2013, 17:51:00

just got hip to Namibian indie singer/songwriter Shishani. this Indiegogo campaign is old, but i really love her sound. hope she got the funds she needed to make her debut album happen. --AL.

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December 28 2013

From alligator legs Sat Dec 28 2013, 19:35:00

I was deeply moved by Chika Anadu's debut feature, B for Boy, that recently had its Lagos premiere screening hosted by The Life House. Stark, understated, realistic, the film is being called an "elegant realist drama [that] questions Nigeria's gender divide as middle-class Amaka resorts to desperate measures after a miscarriage."

What struck me most about the film was how well it wove together issues of culture, tradition, womanhood, polygamy, and patriarchy into a personal story about a woman fighting to keep her marriage together--both dramatically and narratively, the film was nuanced and accessible enough to satisfy Nigerian and Western audiences alike.

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December 21 2013

From alligator legs Sat Dec 21 2013, 07:13:00

"Don't be a fucking victim. The continent is for you to make. That whole thing of the publishers don't, I don't . . . can you link me up with publishers abroad? And I am like, tell me the name of one publisher abroad. You can't be living in the age of Google and cheap internet where you can find out the resources available to you as a young African writer through the social network and other avenues, waiting for your father to make the policy or arrangements for you is immoral. In fact it is evil. It's your job to make it." -- Binyavanga Wainaina

I really love this quote. It articulates exactly what troubles me when people ask me to help them find out about __X__ in __Y__, particularly when X has something to do with film, literature, or the arts, and Y is the United States.

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