Arthur Anyaduba is a literature enthusiast from Nigeria and has actively facilitated the use of literature for advancing social justice and peace in Nigeria and internationally. He has worked as a journalist, freelance writer, and social/political commentator in Nigeria. He is currently one of the editors of the popular literary magazine—Saraba Magazine.
Tell us about your role with Spur.
I was an artist-in-residence at Spur Winnipeg 2015. I recited my poems at two different sessions: “From Hunger to Health” and “Building Community Wealth.” Interpreting the theme of each session through poetry proved fun and interesting, for me, although I have to confess that I was a bit curious why I was asked to do poems for two similar themes that revolved around hunger and poverty.
In the last year, what is the longest you have gone ‘unplugged’?
I usually go without internet connectivity. For instance, I deactivated the internet data on my phone in order to cut down on distractions. I usually leave the house to go to school to read, and most times, I go without my laptop or any electronic device that could induce me to surf the internet. I often find those moments that I stayed off the internet more fulfilling in terms of my task-completion rate.
Which book is currently on your nightstand?
Several books. But at present, it’s James Waller’s book on genocide, titled, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. I find this book quite interesting, especially due to the author’s attempt to demystify the notion that genocides and mass killings are the actions of psychopaths and not something ordinary, normal people can commit. Particularly now that many scholars in Canada are embroiled in debates over whether the settler-colonial policies and actions in the history of the country could be described as genocide, I recommend this book to anyone interested in not just educating themselves about how close we all are to committing genocides, but also about how the very reality of European settler-colonisation is in fact genocidal in nature.
What is the one item you never leave home without?
My wallet. Very important.
Do you have any friends you have never met in person?
Many. I have hundreds of Facebook friends that I have never met in person, and possibly will never meet.
The animated show The Jetsons was set in 2062. Is there anything from their futuristic world that you wish were a current reality?
I haven’t seen The Jetsons. But if there’s anything futuristic that I wish were a current reality, it’s a teleporting transportation mechanism. Something like a helmet that transports one electronically to any destination in the world. That way, maybe we’ll have less to worry about traffic situations and especially accidents. Except that if it operates the way emails operate, then human bodies in transit could remain electronically suspended should anything go wrong with internet connectivity. Moreover, some human beings can easily delete others who are in transit. Imagine, a terrorist activity that involves people hacking into a Canadian Teleporting Service Provider and wiping out all the company’s clients in transit. I understand all that. In fact, viruses can even be designed to attack people while electronically in motion, you know, in a way that by the time that they are transformed back into physical beings some physical information could be missing. But the good news may be that such internet occurrences could be reversible, retrievable and encodeable in very formidable ways. Moreover, we could then “save” (ctrl + s) ourselves electronically with instructions for the future “re-opening” and that way possibly conquer the mortality that comes with ageing.
How do you prefer to communicate with colleagues: by phone, email, text or in person? How do you prefer to communicate with friends?
I usually prefer in-person communication because it reduces the potential of being misunderstood. But if in-person interaction is not possible, one will find me making a phone call. I find sending texts and emails tiring most times.
What do you love about the city in which you live?
I haven’t been to lots of cities in the world. But there are a few places where I get to and I feel this sense of friendliness, appreciation and serendipity. These are what I feel about Winnipeg.