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What does the history of masking tell us about youth, politics and insecurity in Nigeria?

Dr David Pratten, University of Oxford

What does the history of masking tell us about youth, politics and insecurity in Nigeria?

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Drop into the British Academy on June 22-23 for our first Summer Showcase

Wander through our beautiful building to view 15 exhibits consisting of text panels, interactive elements and audio-visual displays created by the academics we fund. Meet our researchers, find out more about their projects and take part in hands-on activities.

David Pratten explores the lives of young masquerade performers in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria

Militant Masks: Youth, Performance and Insecurity in Nigeria

David Pratten gives an insight into the lives of the Agaba masquerade based in the Niger Delta region. His exhibit tells a story about members' masquerade traditions, and why they continue to flourish today. While these masquerade performances – which feature music, carved masks and bold dance styles – are striking, the songs are witty laments that reflect on the insecurity of life for these young men, and offer a critique of politics and the economic system in Nigeria.

David Pratten is Associate Professor in the Social Anthropology of Africa at the University of Oxford
Research Award: British Academy / Leverhulme Small Research Grant 2014

Showcase opening times: Friday 22-Saturday 23 June,11am - 5pm

Late-night view: Friday 22nd June, 6.30-9pm

Floor Plan:

You'll find this exhibit at Point 4 in the Reading Room on the Ground Floor. Download our programme to plan your visit.

Exhibit 4


Leverhulme Trust

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