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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Anatomy of a Riot: The Social Imaginary, Single Women, and Religious Violence in Niger
Author:Cooper, Barbara M.
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Niger
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Women's Issues
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4107247
Abstract:The proximate cause of the November 2000 riot in Maradi, Niger, was an international fashion festival to be held on the banks of the Niger River publicized under the theme 'Culture, peace and development'. The second annual International Festival of African Fashion, known by its French acronym FIMA, was supported in part by the United Nations Development Programme as an effort to support the development of a fashion industry and artisanal workshops in Niger. The festival offered a highly feminized and sexualized image of the new modern Africa. Discontent over the festival was almost immediately framed in terms of women's bodies. Resentments over a sense of impotence at outside intrusions into Niger's economy, however mediated by Niger's cosmopolitan elite, were actualized in an impulse to control women, their movements, and their bodies. Muslim activists held anti-FIMA meetings in mosques, denouncing the festival in sermons. On 8 November, they marched on the National Assembly and when the crowd was dispersed by security forces, they attacked betting office kiosks, bars, and women in Western dress. The riot that broke out on 9 November was a product of the complex local experience of several intersecting processes: Niger's fitful effort to democratize; the rise of religious activism, both Islamist and charismatic Christian; the perceived control of Western donors in the decisionmaking of the State; and the playing out of these tensions on the bodies of women. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French. [ASC Leiden abstract]