Youths, Social Media and Cultural Production of Poetics of Violence: Harbingers of Violent Elections in Nigeria?
Keywords:Violence, poetics of violence, violent imaginaries, election, democracy
AbstractEfforts to curtail violence in Nigeria’s electoral spaces have focused mainly on quelling on-going physical manifestations of violence. This approach is like medicine after death. The approach has, in many instances, failed to prevent violent deaths in Nigeria’s electoral processes. Both covert and overt forms of electoral violence have received substantial scholarly attention, yet a critical knowledge gap exists in various narratives of the violence. Less is still known on how the deployment of symbols and poetics of violence shapes and structures violent death in the country’s electoral process. This paper, therefore, seeks to contribute to the filling of this lacuna. The paper explores links between poetics of violence and violent election in Nigeria. By exploring the poetics, it aims at articulating measures that may enable legal violent laborers to war at the speed of light to curtail violent election. The paper uses conceptual analysis of relevant documents and draws on direct observations of and participation in electoral processes to interrogate cultural production of violence in forms of narratives, performances, and inscriptions. It argues that such productions collectively give rise to poetics of violence that motivates those who march to the violent front of electoral process and their sympathizers. The paper identifies ways in which poetics of violence are linked with killable bodies as well as indicates how legal violent laborers may genuinely counter and diffuse the violence.
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