A Post-colonial Ecocritical Reading of Ecological Violence and Resistance in Selected Anglophone African Novels (2000-2010)

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African post-colonial environment is defined as a system of human-nonhuman interactions where pressing ecological violence has been intensified, rather than abated, since the end of formal colonialism as the continent is at the heart of the relationships with colonialism and its legacies. Likely, African post-colonial environments are also battlefields where resistances are met with unabated struggles to protect and preserve environments of African natives from colonial and post-colonial destructions. This study examines ecological violence and resistance as reflected in Helon Habila‟s Oil on Water, Zakes Mda‟s The Heart of Redness, Kaine Agary‟s Yellow-Yellow and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong‟o‟s Wizard of the Crow. In the analyses and interpretations, attention has been paid to the texts‟ treatment of different forms of ecological violence, resistance strategies used by the writers, interactions of human and the nonhuman in the contexts of those actions and reactions, as well as the writers‟ articulations in bringing attention to the ongoing ecological violence and resistance. In doing so post-colonial ecocriticism approach has been employed to carry out the critical reading, analysis and interpretation of the selected novels for this study. Employing this approach, in Habila‟s Oil on Water, ecocidal activities, petroviolence and environmental injustices on the ecologies of Niger Delta are found depicted as major forms of ecological violence. Mda‟s The Heart of Redness has found depicting ecological imperialism, geographical colonization and flora and fauna genocides as major forms of ecological violence. In Agary‟s Yellow-Yellow, environmental despoliation, pollution, petrocapitalism, and capitalist patriarchy are found as forms of ecological violence in Niger Delta. In Ngũgĩ‟s Wizard of the Crow, deforestation and loss of natural ecologies have been found as major forms of ecological violence. Regarding post-colonial resistance, the selected novels are found ecologically conscious.Habila‟ Oil on Water offers ecological journalism as a reflective agency to voicing for nature as resistance strategy. Similarly in Agary‟s Yellow-Yellow ecoactivism, interconnectedness and ecological feminism are found as important resistance strategies in fighting against ecological destructions in Niger Delta. In The Heart of Redness ecological education and ecofriendly based economic development approach has been found as resistance strategy to the restoration and preservation of the endangered ecology. Ngũgĩ‟s Wizard of the Crow offers perspectives to understand nature through rehabilitation, glorification of nature, and reforestation by equally revealing the anthropocentric limitations. The writers of the respective novels try to articulate the ongoing ecological violence and resistance employing narrative strategies, such as narrative voices, point of view and environmental tropes. The novels are also found showing complex networks of interaction and relation between human and the nonhuman. On the local human side, there is tranquility and strong affliction with natural environment while discordant relations and exploitative kinds of interaction among the locals, the nonnatives and the physical environment.



Ecological Violence