Introduction to Identity During The Pandemic

Identity During the Pandemic is an upcoming anthology of African stories that introduces new works by new writers you might have enjoyed previously. In it are some of the most versatile and fascinating Ghanaian and Nigerian writers working hard at their little corners to improve their craft. With an intimate knowledge of themselves, each writer takes us through the changes they went through during the pandemic.

This anthology is a celebration of new voices. It is a collection of the distinctive work of each individual writer that serves as the contribution to the blossoming of literature from Ghana and Nigeria and the rest of Africa. We started this project simply because the concept of collected works studying Identity during the Pandemic seemed like a logical step to extend our readership.

Random Journal, a subsidiary of Random Photo, was born out of a need for contact with other writers. We wanted to create an environment in which literature would thrive, uninhibited and uncensored, where it would be taken seriously, in both a pure and a practical sense. Just like Photography is taken seriously. Our preoccupation is with the business of word-craft in ferrying ideas and feelings across the streams of silence. In retrospect, our efforts can be seen as part of a growing movement challenging the traditional, confining categories into which writing have been boxed. The hierarchical distinction between community and academia, amateur and professional, popular and elite, is of dubious value. It is only by engaging with the work itself that we can come to trust and develop our own judgement instead of relying on a readymade yardstick which has so often proved to be at best a crude and inaccurate approximation, at worst completely missing the mark.

Many of the works in this anthology question given perspectives about Identity during the Pandemic, it is the perfect introduction to a wide range of contemporary pieces that speak of danger, wonder and fear, of love and all that erodes love, in forms of language precisely reshaped by the need to communicate what it is to be alive now, here.

Contributors on this project:

Book and Cover Design: Sandy Alibo

Editors: Arinzechukwu Patrick and Tinuade George

Foreword: Elizabeth Johnson (Writers Project Ghana)

The Mountains: Henneh Kyereh Kwaku

The Monsters You Made: jubril albirin

Five poems by Wandi Sukail

Three poems by Uba ogidi

Pandemic in a Pandemic by Maimuna Mustapha

Serendipity and other poems by Aku Dzifa

Refraction by Efe Ogufere

The Pandemic Mirror: Josephine Amoako

God Lives Here: Nkem Oyaghire

Three Poems: Temi Iwalaiye

The Great Unfolding: Ibrahim Oga

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