Accepted paper:

The Arts of Oil: The Cultural History of Port Harcourt

Author:

David Pratten (Oxford University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will examine what the popular arts tell us about understandings of African petro-states, resource curse, and post-oil futures.

Paper long abstract:

Is there a popular culture of oil? How is the history oil - its production, pollution, profit and politics - inflected in Nigerian popular arts? Can we understand how the oil industry is perceived through the popular arts that represent and resist it? This paper will examine what the popular arts tell us about understandings of African petro-states, resource curse, and post-oil futures. Through the art, literature, and film produced in Port Harcourt, the urban hub of the Niger Delta this paper will explore localised and everyday ideas about enchantment and disenchantment, wealth and inequality, pleasure and pain derived from the oil economy.

panel P012
Dis/enchantment and the popular arts in Nigeria