Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology

I'm delighted to be contributing to The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology which is published by Strange Attractor Press and edited by Virginie Selavy editor of Electric Sheep Magazine. Electric Sheep is an online magazine which publishes articles on deviant cinema of all kinds. I have written an article called Carelessly Kept which closely analyses Helen Ukpabio's film End of the Wicked, a cult example of Nigerian Evangelist Cinema, with reference to belief in witchcraft. This title has two meanings for me: it points to the negligent and reckless way children who have been stigmatised as witches are treated in West Africa and also to a very everyday domestic way of being, which is seen to be threatened by those who believe that children can be witches. To expand, witchcraft believers think children can threaten them and cause them harm with the simplest of means. They can take an item from the home, a discarded shoe or a cotton bud left on the side of the sink and take this to their nightime underworld of the coven. This object can then be used to stand in for the owner, like follows like and by the laws of contagion an action performed on the object, burning, stabbing, can cause a related pain to the owner. This sinister reading is seen as the most likely reason for obejcts going missing, things not going to plan, unexplainable behaviour. This is the symptom of a moral panic about children believed to be witches and has led to brutal ritual abuse and abandonment of African children. More to follow.

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