The Liberia History Workshop: Seeking scholarly advice & Peeping into Liberian Broadcasting history
As history orbits around different temporalities and dimensions of time, this article seeks to set you back to the more immediate past (whatsoever time scale may be applied) with a short but long-overdue recap of our "History & Archiving Workshop on Liberia" as part of our joint research trip to Liberia in February this year. Travelling after two years, meeting academics and colleagues not just virtually but in-person to build stronger collaborative connections, was a welcomed and long-awaited privilege.
As a newly formed junior research group, we had the great pleasure of hosting a workshop with some of the leading scholars of Liberian history and politics, such as Prof. Patrick Burrowes, Prof. D. Elwood Dunn, as well as the chair of the History department of the University of Liberia (UL) Prof. Samuel Kortue and other faculty members.
Group-Foto of the Liberia History workshop
The first part of the workshop comprised the presentation of Richard's and Luisa's doctoral proposals, which gave them the possibility to seek critical and analytic expertise of the attendees regarding methodology, content and interpretations. In addition, getting the understanding and expertise of Liberian scholars on such episodes and narratives of their history was a valuable experience for enhancing the research of the doctoral students.
The second part of the workshop took a look at the Liberia Broadcasting System digitisation project, currently work-in-progress at the Africa Multiple Cluster (University of Bayreuth). The shown samples of already digitised tapes, originally stemming from the 1980s, including the telenovela "Diary of love", as well as other cultural and non-news television shows, did not just raise a smile on the viewer's faces but also lead to a conclusive memory dialogue with the sharing of nostalgic stories, as well as personal and public memories.
Breaks were lighted up with recordings of the "Reggae Sunsplash" festival organised at Samuel K. Doe (SKD)- Stadium (Monrovia) in 1988, taking our guests down the memory lane of music history in Liberia with old but fine tunes of international and local reggae artists.