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Boko Haram, Asylum, and Memes of Africa

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This opinion piece examines evidence that Boko Haram is being invoked in asylum and refugee contexts. The author suggests that Boko Haram has emerged a meme of contemporary Africa, insofar as it appears to have become a cultural reference tool for wider anxieties and jeopardies, one that is transmitted by repetition and replication. The Boko Haram meme may benefit asylum-seekers and refugees who struggle to document their experiences or sustain their narratives of persecution, and has implications well beyond Nigeria and the continent of Africa.

Affiliations: 1: Rochester Institute of TechnologyRochester, nyUSABNL@RIT.EDU


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