SLOW VIOLENCE AND THE POLITICS OF ALIENATION IN TANURE OJAIDE’S THE ACTIVIST

Published: MARCH 2021

Author(s): Uchenna  Ohagwam1  & Tambari Dick2

About Author(s):

1Department of English & Literature, Rivers State University

2Department of English Studies, University of Port Harcourt

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Abstract

Alienation is a theoretical concept developed by Karl Marx, which describes the isolating, disenchanting, dehumanizing effects of working within a capitalist arrangement. It occurs when an individual or a community, feels one-self alone, estranged or isolated from what is either theirs or their common good. The feeling of alienation is at the base of varying forms of unfriendly, unsympathetic or hostile atmosphere that have become the bane of many communities in the Niger Delta region. Often, alienation is triggered by either a socio-political setup or largely due to capitalist surroundings. For some thinkers, this estranged situation is strictly psychological, but for Marxists, it is a material and social process whereby there is a separation or detachment of beings or things that are or have been naturally united together. Thus, the study is anchored on the assumption that as people are separated from what brings them together with nature and their roots, the environment will not only witness political threats, but also an overwhelming rate of ecological ruins that are slow and attritional.

Key Words: Estrangement, environment, activist, slow violence, losses