ISSN 1118-146X. Annual subscription:
individuals inside Africa $70, outside Africa $92/£58. Institutions
inside Africa $82, outside Africa $112/£70. Glendora International Nig.
Limited, 168 Awolowo Road, PO Box 50914, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. +234
1 2692762 (tel/fax), email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
ISSN 1595-6512. Annual subscription: individuals inside Africa $70,
outside Africa $95/£68. Institutions inside Africa $85, outside Africa
$135/£75. Back Page Productions 33, Little Road, PO Box 604, Yaba, Lagos,
Nigeria, +234 1 4707570 (tel), +234 1 866910 (fax), email: email@example.com;
[site under construction]
Both Glendora Review and Position
reconfirm that the shortcomings of identity-embedded construction are
not so glaring because of the fluid diverse nature of the inhabitants
of the world we live in. Rather, that the seemingly distinguishing elements
among groups, peoples, classes, individuals etc., are becoming more
in line with the varying approaches to how we define and redefine ourselves
today. Hence, the similarity and divergence of these two bold publications
from Nigeria on popular arts and culture.
Where Glendora Review positions itself in the
backdrop of 'a time of swift and confounding changes...that simultaneously
invites and rejects statements of self-definition and redefinition...that
the idea of "Africa" would seem most problematic' (p.144), Position
reviews conventional publishing concepts of market and readership. Instead
of answering the questions 'who do you publish for? Which is your world?',
it retorts with 'Position. Whose position?' It believes 'that maintaining
faithfulness to a defined geography of publishing would be at the expense
of sincerity... [when] there are enduring principles ...[which] owe
no citizenships nor keep nationality boundaries. There are experiences
that we share, sometimes painful experiences; in relating with them
we learn about other lessons that bring us into a better understanding
of ourselves and situations' (p. 3).
Equally audacious is what they have both set out
to achieve. Glendora believes it is on the right track by 'consciously
cultivating an aesthetic space for heterodoxy, a celebration of the
eclectic, and even the confounding'. It reiterates that given the context
of its being 'forged in the crucible of marginalization', its role as
a vehicle for varying forms of literary and artistic genres becomes
the more relevant for creative artists around the 'African hemispheres'.
As a reminder, this well-produced journal is bold in typography and
design, with typefaces literally collapsing and merging on top of one
In its third volume and backed by a new team of
substantive editors and editorial board (comprising Sola Olorunyomi,
Akin Adesokan, Olakunle Tejuoso, and Ololade Bamidele), Glendora
promises a 'fascinating experience'. In this issue, Glendora
attempts a 'utopian' exploration of that phantasmagoric city of contradictions
called Lagos. Utopian not for its depiction of Lagos but, as Dele Jegede,
the guest editor admits, for the limitations of trying to capture the
essence of such a complex city in a medium as the journal. Yet the issue
manages to paint a rich nostalgic and contemporary canvas of Lagos.
Elements of anonymity and indifference are captured through architecture,
night life, music, video film-making, poetry etc; the mixed bag of colours
and sounds which make the city both vibrant and pitiful. A city bursting
with relentless energy amidst collapsing infrastructure and barbed-wire
Position in its vol. 1 no. 2 issue suggests
another stimulating attempt at reaching out to spaces - or 'pulses'
- of transition both within and without, at home and abroad, with a
view to understanding our changing selves and environments. The images
of Beirut, Lebanon and the Niger Delta in Nigeria impact strikingly
for both their familiarity and explosiveness. There is an ironic twist
to the fact that, in the eyes of for instance the Lagosian or the West
African, the images of the Lebanese 'other' merge so much with theirs.
With a group of informed editors and contributors (Dapo Adeniyi, Ben
Zulu, Maja Pearce, Kofi Anyidoho, Mia Couto, Bisi Sylva, Karen King-Aribisala,
Funso Aiyejina, Omowunmi Segun and Remi Raji-Oyelade), one would also
expect an exciting exploration.
Arguably, these are seductive yet daring perspectives
from two publications devoted to contemporary art forms and culture.
Scholarly publishing, in which the two publications are camped, is a
tough cookie. Much as we may want to view multiple spaces in multiple
times with multiple eyes, the bottom line in a ruthless, dogmatic, unforgiving
sector still remains sustainability. That is, regular, high quality
and efficiently distributed publications. Long may they succeed. [end] [BPN,
no 29, 2001, p 13.]
to table of contents for BPN Newsletter 29, 2001>>