Saturday, November 18, 2006

Olojede on his Narrative

Award-wining journalist Dele Olojede gave today’s keynote address, an explanatory journey on his story about Alphoncina Mutuze, a Tutsi woman whose child Gervais was one of several thousands born of the widespread sexual violence of war-torn Rwanda in the early 1990s. He is making some interesting points on the narrative, on interviewing, etc. But Olojede masters an elusive narrative attribute – cadence and stability. Here’s Mutuze’s first quote in the story:

“I really don’t hate him but I feel this child is not mine. This child is not mine. I could not imagine how I would nurse this child. I wanted to kill this child. I looked at him and wanted to kill him. I beat him even when I was nursing him. I beat him even now.”

Olojede weaves compelling narrative and a clear understanding of the Rwandan conflict. Great narrative has you glancing at the page one minute, and surfs you through the rest. You exert very little energy reading, in other words.

Olojede says that he interviewed Mutuze over several days. Asked in the Q&A how he established a rapport with the woman, he said that they talked about other things -- like soccer – and that he was genuine and tried to show that he cared.

Attendees of the keynote had copies of the stories and very few of them seem to left on the seat. I’ve got five copies myself.

I’m actually off to Globe columnist Jackie MacMullan’s session entitled "The Beat Dilemma: On Not Keeping Athletes’ Secrets." Also featured in this time block: "Parachuting Well: Doing Narrative in Places You’ve Never Been"; "In Search of an American Identity"; a seminar on arts journalism; "Writing about science: Is It Sociology or Politics or Advocacy or Journalism?"; "Can TV News Tell It Like It Is?"; and "Finding an Agent: When, How, Who, Why."

Posted by Darren Sands at 3:50 PM | link

Read or Post a Comment

Five? Lol. I love it.

Posted by Blogger Duck @ 4:57 PM, November 18, 2006 #
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