Journalist Ken Wiwa at Rockford College

Rockford College is pleased to present a lecture by journalist and activist Ken Wiwa on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in Maddox Theatre in the Clark Arts Center. This event is part of the Rockford College Forum Series. Admission is $8 for the general public. Maddox Theatre is handicap accessible.

Ken Wiwa is one of the world’s most influential young human rights activists and authors. The son of acclaimed playwright and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa (executed by the governement of Nigeria in 1995), his first book, In the Shadow of a Saint, was published in the U.K., Holland, U.S. and Canada to critical acclaim. In the Shadow of a Saint is a memoir that Ken Wiwa describes as an examination of the dilemmas of fathers and sons, families and community, the paradox of identity, of belonging, the struggle between exile and home, of memory and an interrogation of the values of storytelling. Through an anecdotal review of a dramatic father and son relationship, In the Shadow of a Saint is also a story about an indigenous people’s struggle against a giant multinational, a story that has been described as a morality tale of the 20th century.

As a broadcaster, Ken Wiwa has worked for the BBC and on documentaries for Channel 4 and for CBC. His latest documentary, also called In the Shadow of A Saint, was shown on BBC and CBC last fall and will be shown in several countries around the world including Holland, Sweden, Finland, Australia and South Africa.

As a journalist, Ken Wiwa’s work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the globe. He worked for The Guardian in London for two years and has also written for other U.K. publications including The Observer, The Independent, Independent on Sunday, The Times, Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph.

Ken Wiwa has spoken on behalf of his Ogoni people at international conferences, schools and universities around the world and to the world’s media. He has lobbied governments at the highest level and is a commentator on Nigerian affairs, appearing on and in the world’s major news media. He continues to speak on behalf of his people and has taken on his father’s beliefs, championing the claims and rights of his people in the debate about the effects of globalization on the nation state in Africa, on cultural diversity, ethnic identity and the environment.

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