The Ubiquitous Figure of the Child Soldier

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Susanne Gehrmann, Charlott Schönwetter (Eds.)

The Ubiquitous Figure of the Child Soldier. Interviews with African Writers, Academics and Cultural Activists followed by a Comprehensive Bibliography

ISBN 978-3-86821-826-8, 238 S., kt., € 30,00 (2019)

(LuKA -Literaturen und Kulturen Afrikas, Bd. 12)

Over the last twenty years, African child soldiers have been a seminal topic in the media and in literature. In narrative genres such as testimony, fiction and film, the persona of the war child has become a trope, a figure of meaning with varying connotations. African and Afrodiasporic authors and filmmakers with roots in different regions of the continent use different narrative, rhetorical and visual aesthetic strategies to represent child soldiers and contribute to an alternative discourse on this ubiquitous figure that goes beyond Western mainstream media.
The interviews presented in this collection feature the opinions of academic teachers, scholars, writers, filmmakers, journalists and readers based in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and different diasporic locations who have worked on the topic in creative or analytical ways in order to explore African perceptions of the literary, medial and cinematic boom on the African child soldier. The interviews offer important insights into the reception of the child soldier figure and its ambiguities in Africa, while they also show the social urgency on the continent to deal with the aftermaths of wars and their collective traumata in a productive way. Throughout many of the conversations, the difficult balancing act of writing about the reality of child soldiers without perpetuating stereotypes about Africa as well as aspects of commodification are discussed.
By now, a multitude of novels, short-stories, plays, testimonial texts, documentaries and fiction films, but also numerous research articles, reviews and dissertations have been published on the topic of the African child soldier. As a relevant tool for further research, the book offers a comprehensive bibliography of this vast body of literature and film material.
With contributions by Newton Aduaka, Richard Ali, Babatunde Ayeleru, Rotimi Babatunde, Sule E. Egya, Susanne Gehrmann, Helon Habila, Elnathan John, José Mufula, Antoine Mulenda, Wilfried N'Sondé, Remy Oriaku, Femi Osofisan, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, Zaynab Quadri, Ramonu Sanusi, Charlott Schönwetter, Eddie Tambwe, Abdourahman A. Waberi and Lye M. Yoka.

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)


"Cette belle collection de références et de ressources, n’est certes pas exhaustive, mais assez étoffée pour aider les chercheurs à se retrouver dans l’ensemble des travaux littéraires et paralittéraires relatifs aux enfants- soldats. Elle montre, à l’instar de tout l’ouvrage, l’éventail de contextes, de lieux, de langues, de formats qui invitent des publics variés à travers le monde à prendre conscience de la figure de l’enfant-soldat dans les arts et à mieux l’appréhender."

Karen Ferreira-Meyer, French Studies in Southern Africa 52 (2022)

"Cet ouvrage est un outil indispensable à tout·e chercheur·e s’intéressant à la question des enfants-soldats, ou plus généralement à la thématique de la guerre dans la littérature africaine."

Maëline Le lay, Études Littéraires Africaines 55 (2023)