Discussion Analyzing #BringBackOurGirls

Assigned Readings:

1. Hilary Matfess, “Three Years Later, A Look at the #BringBackOurGirls Catch-22 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Daily Beast 14 April 2017. [news story]

2. Amanda Holpuch, “Stolen daughters: what happened after #BringBackOurGirls? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.The Guardian 20 October 2018. [review of HBO documentary]

3. Meredith Loken, “BringBackOurGirls and the Invisibility of Imperialism.pdf Feminist Media Studies 14.6(2014): 1100-1101. [brief academic article]

4. Polly Brock, “Nigerian Art on its Own Terms: Interview with Peju Alatise (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.,” Art/ctualite 12 November 2014.

Poetry about the Chibok Girls by African poets:

1. “Bring Back Our Girls – A Poem for the Missing Nigerian Girls (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.” by Zimbabwean Poet Batsirai Chigama (you can click to hear the poet read her work)

2. Success Akpojotor, “Colours from Chibok (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Poets Reading the News 6 September 2017.


In this Discussion, we turn to the case study of the #BringBackOurGirls online activism campaign that came into prominence shortly after the Chibok girls’ kidnappings in Nigeria. There are a variety of articles here analyzing the scope and impact of the hashtag itself and of digital activism in general. This week there are also examples of visual art and poetry that also seek to make public statements that call for justice while also contributing objects of beauty–visual images, poems.

Task: Write a 400 word essay in which you present a provable argument about which type of activism discussed for the week best achieves its overall goals. You may begin this from your opinion, but the thesis has to be analytical and there has to be textual (including visual) support for your claims.

  • In other words, your thesis can’t be: “In my opinion, X type of activism is more effective than Y type of activism.” That’s just a reflection of what you personally think. It’s not an argument.
  • Instead, formulate your thesis in terms that can be proven and which characterize what kind of impact one type of activism has vs. the limited or broad nature of a different type of activism as represented by our readings.