Critical Perspectives on Imoinda


This interdisciplinary project workshop focused on Imoinda: Or She Who Will Lose Her Name by Joan Anim-Addo.

About the project

Words from Other Worlds is an AHRC funded Student-Led Initiative.

The project hosted a multi and interdisciplinary interactive postgraduate workshop in November 2009, to collectively develop a range of critical perspectives on "Imoinda: Or She Who Will Lose Her Name" (2007) by Joan Anim-Addo; a re-writing of Aphra Behn’s "Oroonoko" (1688).  "Imoinda" is the first libretto by an African Caribbean woman which tells the story of an enslaved African woman who gives birth to a child symbolising the beginning of the Caribbean Islands as modern nation-states.

By giving voice to this marginal text through public and collaborative discussions, we explored the malleability of the text when read through the eyes of drama, music, art, literature and museum studies.  Such a dynamic approach endeavoured to produce a range of contemporary, 'new' ways of looking at and beyond the text within a radically ever-changing digital world that offered a space to explore the oral and visual culture from which "Imoinda" emerges.

On the premise that the internet is a field of endless expression for a virtual global community which is ironically a world accessed by those with the economic and technological means, we explored the following questions as relevant to "Imoinda":

  • what happens when this libretto goes beyond the text, when placed in a virtual environment?
  • what kind of dialogic relation evolves between text and cyber space?
  • what are the power dynamics of this?

The one day workshop took place on Saturday 7 November 2009 from 10.00am until 4.00pm. Check the blog and our Imoinda Wikipedia entry for more information.

Deborah Adeladun describes her experience in the workshop.

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