To end the year, Saraba offers you a prefatory remark on our forthcoming History Issue: a short story and an essay.

Toni Kan’s short story reenacts a moment of historical turbulence; turbulent given that the strangeness of fiction cannot compensate with the stark reality of a world that banalizes our fiercest imagination. We remember four boys burnt to death in mid-2012, visitors hence strangers in a town close to their university. History always comes full circle. It is a remorseless flow that continues into the present and keeps on going. Weeks after that infamous event, one of us came across a crowd drawing blood from a helpless man. The fury on social media hadn’t been translated to the streets. And reading this story, we feel reminded that as long as the imagination can revisit a historical moment, it hangs on the precipice of not merely believability, but possibility. And we recall what Walter Benjamin had written: “The state of emergency in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We need to attain to a concept of history that is in keeping with this insight.”

Iduma’s essay on the photographs of Emeka Okereke struggles with the difficulty in accounting for the historical moment in a photographic object. He reflects on the practice and ideas of a photographer whose work he evidently admires, with a sort of objective generosity wow gold.

This Prequel, lavishly illustrated with photographs by Emeka Okereke, defines the exigency of our forthcoming issue. We offer this in the hope that 2014 will be a better year, a promise fulfilled, for us and for all our admirers.

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Read the excerpt from Toni Kan’s Strangers

Read the excerpt from Emmanuel Iduma’s essay, The Photographs of Emeka Okereke

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