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McCain, Carmen (2022) 'Censorship, citizenship and cosmopolitan unity in Muslim and Christian creative responses to repression in northern Nigeria.' Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 92 (5). pp. 739-758.

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Nigeria is often portrayed as having a ‘Muslim north’ and a ‘Christian south’. Such representations oversimplify the complicated interrelationships between the two religious communities and their geographic locations. Similarly, while much has been written on the conflict between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region, there has been less scholarly attention to the philosophical and communal relationships between adherents of the two religions in northern Nigeria. I argue that there are parallels in the way in which Hausa-speaking Muslim artists responded to a censorship crisis in Kano State in 2007–11 and in the way in which Hausa-speaking Christian musicians from Nigeria’s north-east responded a few years later to the Boko Haram crisis. I examine Muslim filmmaker Hamisu Lamido Iyantama’s response to the Kano State Censorship Board, alongside Christian musician Saviour Y. Inuwa’s response to Boko Haram. Iyantama and Inuwa both counter repressive forces by expressing parallel understandings of their identities as citizens in the pluralistic state of Nigeria and as righteous members of universal religious communities that emphasize God’s justice in the end times. I argue that these Hausa-language artists present a vision of cosmopolitan unity across ethnicity and religion, as an alternative to the repressive forces of both state censorship and the anarchic violence of Boko Haram.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Hausa, Hausa film, Hausa music, Kannywood, Northern Nigeria, Islam in Nigeria, Christianity in Nigeria, censorship, Boko Haram, cosmopolitanism, citizenship in Nigeria, sharia in Nigeria
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature
ISSN: 00019720
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the International African Institute
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2023 11:58
Funders: Other, Other, Other, Other

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