Chigozie Obioma has a new non-fiction story, “When the Risen Dust Settles,” out on Alexander, a new digital storytelling platform.
Alexander features original non-fiction stories by authors from around the world. What’s unique about it is that it offers readers three ways to get into a piece: a written story, an audio performance, and a short film.
The app was launched in November 2020. Apart from Obioma’s piece, it currently offers stories written by authors such as Colum McCann and Xiaolu Guo, audio performances by stars such as Helena Bonham Carter and Bill Nighy, and short films directed by filmmakers such as Charlotte Wales and Derek Zheng.
In a Business Wire feature, Alexander’s founder, Cameron Lamb, said that “Alexander is for a global audience starved of those intimate, transporting stories that give real access to international and unexplored subjects and places.” He had “wanted to create something different [by] bring[ing] together three familiar mediums, entwined, working cohesively together, to deliver an immersive world.”
Obioma’s story is read by Ṣope Dìrísù, and the accompanying film directed by Zacker Canaperi and Drea Cooper. Here is a summary of Obioma’s story:
A young Chigozie Obioma heads to Nigeria’s Caritas University with dreams of becoming a writer in When the Risen Dust Settles. Instead he enters an educational system run like a totalitarian regime. He finds crude facilities, armed guards, and fearsome nuns. Students are spied upon, beaten, and expelled. The repressive structure exists all too easily in a country menaced by violent gangs, where those with power rule with impunity and university degrees are the only guarantee of a good future. Against this backdrop of fear, Obioma is forced into confrontation with the establishment, but what happens when one person stands up to the system?
Obioma shared the publication of the piece on Facebook along with a trailer of the film. Check the trailer out below, and find out more about how to download and subscribe to Alexander here.