Welcome To Viral Times

Welcome to Viral Times. This is not science fiction. This is not the news. We speak to you from the streets of the slums in a city at the centre of the edge of the world. We speak to you from the middle of a pandemic. The frequency keeps shifting. The signal is not strong. Our voices come to us from far off. From the future. We are speaking from the future. Tune in.

Welcome To Viral Times is an audio manifesto and a signal of intent.

We need to change the way we talk about and move about our city. Find new ways to make decisions. New ways to make food. New ways to make neighbourhoods. So much of our city is yet to come. In so many ways, our city, Port Harcourt, is a city of the future. But it is yet to reckon properly with its colonial past or its contemporary malaise. How will we produce power – both electrical and political – in Nigeria’s oil capital? How shall we distribute it? What trees should we plant? How should we bring fruit and vegetables to our markets and how should we treat their waste? How to build our public spaces so that they promote public health? What material should we use to roof our houses? The future is close to home. For us these questions have the urgency of the everyday. And here we offer some angles on everyday lives that are a struggle for the future of the city.

Although the pandemic has brought much suffering and much confusion, it has also brought clarity. This crisis has helped us see more clearly that our city, our country, was already in crisis, that the past few decades have been a long unfolding series of disasters. So much that is usually obscured by habit or resignation is suddenly naked, its structure revealed. But our sense of what is possible has also been suddenly expanded. Welcome to Viral Times.

Stay tuned!

Researchers, activists, rappers, mappers, actors, audio engineers, writers, readers, reporters, filmmakers, singers, students, teachers, urban farmers, makers of the city yet to come.