Thursday, August 26, 2010

Heinrich Boll essays/short stories/photo competion

(20 September deadline)

Call for Essays/Short Stories and Photographs
For a Publication on:
The Heinrich Böll Stiftung is a German political foundation, affiliated to the Green Party Germany. The Foundation is engaged in civic education worldwide with 28 offices. The Foundation was named after the writer Heinrich Böll (1917-1985) who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his novels and short stories in 1972. His courageous and unerring intervention significantly enriched and influenced political culture in Germany. He personifies the values the Foundation now stands for: the defense of freedom, civic courage, tolerance, open debate and the valuation of art and culture as independent spheres of thought and action.
The Conflict Management Program of the Foundation’s Nigeria office emerged as a response to threats at Nigeria’s democratic processes (see As part of the Foundation’s contribution towards addressing the recurrent and protracted conflicts in Nigeria rooted in diversity issues, the proposed publication should underline the positive role the rich diversity of the country can play and explore ways of transforming the current negative social cohesion into a common strive for development.

This call for essays/short stories and photographs on the theme: “Unity in Diversity: Diversity is positive for Nigeria” intends to:

- Encourage Nigerians to be part of a solution to the recurrent diversity related violent conflicts in the country.
- Explore new ideas/strategies to solve the incessant violent conflicts.
- Provide a platform for citizenship participation in the quest for sustainable peace in Nigeria.

The essays/short stories should concentrate on:
- Telling a true-life story of how the diversity of Nigeria’s people enriched your personal, your families or your friends’ life and explore how the positive aspect of diversity could benefit Nigeria’s social and economic development
- Drawing conclusions from your own positive experiences to develop new ideas/strategies for integrating the positive role of diversity into the social and political structures
- The role of future generations of Nigerians to ensure peace is sustained in the country
The photographs should
- Concentrate on the theme “Diversity is Positive for Nigeria” and include a brief description of how the photograph depicts the theme

Send entries to:
Word Count: Not more than 3000words. Quotes and references must be clearly marked as such and properly cited at the end of the text
Format: Texts are accepted in the following formats: word or pdf, they must be in English language
Age Limit: No Age Limit
Deadline for submission: Extended to 20th September 2010
Notification: Selected entries will be notified in October 2010
Further Information: Heinrich Böll Stiftung
16a, Oladipo Diya Street
2nd Avenue Extension

A jury of Nigerian writers, conflict experts and photographers will select the best entries which will be posted onto the Foundation’s website and published as a book. There will be an official presentation ceremony (date to be communicated) followed by a short expert roundtable discussion. Note: We reserve the right to modify the format and content of the submissions for publication purposes.

- A 5-day trip to Berlin / Germany to participate in an arts festival and educational event organized by the Foundations head-office for the overall best entry!
- The selected essays/short stories will be rewarded with N 25 per word up to a maximum of 3000 words.
- The selected photographs will be rewarded with N 30,000each

Quotes on “diversity” by Nigerians:
Ola Joseph, Nigerian author: “Diversity is not about how we differ. It is about embracing one another’s uniqueness”.
Toni Kan, award winning writer: “I drew inspiration, anecdotes and ideas from the diverse nature of my country, Nigeria. My thesis was that by focusing so much on what divides us, we fail to see the ties that bind. The world we live is no longer delineated by clear cut boundaries. We have become a true global village and it is more evident in Nigeria where travel, the imperatives of work and survival as well as inter-tribal marriages has blurred the lines of division.”
Prof. Albert Oluwole Isaac, internationally renowned conflict expert from the University of Ibadan defines diversity as “human differences in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, ideology or social class. It calls attention to the fact that human beings are not born the same and even when they are, some environmental factors make them to have diverse social, economic and political orientations. However, diversity is like a budding flower with many beautiful petals that complement each other in adding beauty to the environment. It is therefore an asset to any nation. For example, diversity makes it possible for Nigeria to be one of the most culturally significant nations in the world. This could be seen in the variety of languages, food, dresses, songs, festivals and cultural sites in the country”.
Ade Bantu, Musician: “As a Nigerian-German, I consciously embrace the best of the world and my continent. Diversity is my reality, yes, it is challenging and demanding, at times, but I have learned that as long as I am open, curious and willing to go extra miles, there is so much of ‘me’ to be discovered in the alleged ‘others’.”
Roselyn Onyegbula, HBS Program Manager, Conflict Management: “Diversity is like a human being, each with a distinct finger print but with other common features that make us all human. Nigeria is a very diverse nation, to draw strength from our diversity we need to focus on our commonalities and not differences, to move the country forward.”


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