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Joint conference IFRA Nigeria/Institute of African Studies: "Land, Culture and Migration"

On Thursday 3rd November 2016, IFRA Nigeria and the Institute of African Studies organised a joint scientific event, a one-day conference titled “Land, Culture and Migration”.

The Institute of African Studies is the main partner of IFRA within the University of Ibadan, and accommodates friendly and ex gratia our Institute in its own premises since IFRA’s opening in 1990. This partnership has always proved fruitful and successful, while the relationships between the successive directors of the two Institutes stayed warm and harmonious during the years. Yet, it was important to celebrate and to strengthen this partnership, by organising an outstanding joint scientific event, the first since 2012. It is in this spirit that IFRA and IAS’ teams worked together during several weeks to set up a one-day conference titled « Culture, Land and Migration », addressing issues regarding cultural, religious, sociological and economic dimensions of urban and rural migrations, spaces, boundaries, landownership, land use policy, tenure, governance and notions of indigeneity and anteriority in Nigeria.

On Thursday 3rd November at 10am in Lady Bank Anthony’s Hall, Dr. Adam Higazi (anthropologist, Cambridge) opened the conference with a keynote speech titled “Fulani pastoralism and farmer-herder relations in Nigeria”. This particularly sensitive question needed to be addressed, so as to deconstruct numerous reductive assumptions fostering too often the analyses of the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.

Then during the morning and the afternoon, six scholars coming from all over Nigeria succeeded one another at the high table to present their research regarding access to land, economical migrations or movements of population in the history of the country. More than one hundred students and scholars from the University of Ibadan attended this day of conference.

At 5pm in Draper’s Hall, this joint scientific event was concluded by the screening, in collaboration with the Thursday Film Series movie club organised by the Institute students association, ASSA, and hosted by Apkass, of a fiction titled Lemon Tree by Eran Riklis (Israel, 2008). This movie depicts the legal efforts of a Palestinian widow to stop the Israeli Defense Minister, her next door neighbor, from destroying the lemon trees in her family farm.

The participants finally continued their exchanges about the communications presented during the conference and the movie screened after it over a nice dinner organised within the Institute’s garden.

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