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Girls to Women: Responses to Social & Ecological Challenges in Okrika

A review of Judith Gleason's “Becoming a Woman in Okrika” Presented Wednesday, February 17, 2010 3:20pm-4:40pm at RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, Beck Hall Room 219 Livingston Campus.

Abstract

This paper reviews “Coming of Age in Okrika” by Judy Gleason by situating the rites within an ecological context that considers the geography, history, culture and practices of the Okrika people; the politics of petroleum exploitation and revenue allocation; ecological and social issues associated with petroleum exploitation in the Niger Delta. It proceeds from the position that oral and corporeal language could both conceal and reveal meaning. Thus, it argues for a deep contextual reading of the rites of passage featured in the film.

Introduction

The film, “Coming of Age in Okrika” by Judy Gleason cannot be properly reviewed without an understanding of the physical context within which Okrika exists—The Niger Delta of Nigeria, a region that is now well known in the popular media, particularly to people c…