On June 4th 2012, Naijastories.com called on its members and the general public to contribute to an anthology to commemorate the death, Sunday 3rd of June, of 153 passengers and crew of Dana Airlines Flight 9J-992 from Abuja to Lagos and about 10 residents of the houses the plane crashed into.
We wanted to see the writers among us take this tragedy and turn it into something that we could all connect with. Our writing would be a healing outlet as we attempted as a community to make sense of the trauma and the disaster. We would deal with our emotions through poetry, report on how we could do better next time in non-fiction, or even give life back to those who were lost by recreating their lives and stories through fiction.
This is called memorialization. To commemorate, To be mindful of, To remind, To honor or keep alive the memory of.
And from the same day the call was made, the entries began to trickle and then flood in. Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions were received at firstname.lastname@example.org till the end of June. The writers who were already members of naijastories.com submitted directly to the site.
All entries were published on the website and beginning in July, we began to compile the submissions that would be published in the anthology. There are 43 submissions that made it into this collection with about forty writers represented in all the various genres mentioned.
Our hope is that the submissions collected in this anthology will help us as people and a community to deal with the disaster of the Dana airline disaster of June 3rd 2012. It is not a collection of despondence. Yes, there are sad reports, poetry and stories that might make you cry, but in the end, this is a celebration of life. Life is precious. Stories are forever.
May the souls of those who lost their lives in the Dana Crash and in other violence and tragedies in Nigeria continue to rest in peace.
Let us not forget.
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Thank you to everyone who sent in a contribution, we really appreciate it.