Eclipse in Rwanda as Remembering in Pyschosocial Poetics of Trauma

Onyekachi Onuoha


Trauma exists in a synthetic mode of the referential and this is the underlying temperament in Eclipse in Rwanda. The genocide that is chronicled in the narratives of the Nigerian Civil war as recreated in Joe Ushie’s Eclipse in Rwanda foreshadows the pogrom in the mid 90s. Using Cathy Caruth’s concept of trauma as a theoretical framework, this paper examines Eclipse in Rwanda as remembering in psychosocial poetics of trauma. This paper further explicates Eclipse in Rwanda as a text of memory, which poetically captures the trauma and foreshadows the social construction of natives/ non-natives in Africa at large and in Nigeria in particular. Through the poems analysed in this paper, our findings show that Tutsis’ genocide is a poetic fulcrum for the poet to pensively recall the Nigerian Civil War and other hotspots/ narratives of politically motivated violence against fellow citizens. Eclipse in Rwanda attempts to entrench the memories of the dead in us through the poetics of remembering and by so doing indict the collective consciences of the society.

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