Reading between the lines


Dr Oliver Owen

This collaborative project, funded by the Oxford Martin School as part of the Governing the African Transition programme, examines Nigeria’s railway network as a transect between past, present and future. It is centred on working with Nigerian photographers, social media networks and public heritage organisations to document Nigeria’s rail infrastructure and its meaning to the people who travel on and work with it, at a moment of transition. New investment and new lines mean re-imaginings of the future and at the same time, public history enthusiasts are engaging with the colonial-era infrastructure to construct their own understandings and representations of the past.  The public engagement component of this work aims to support Nigerian organisation Legacy 1995 in documenting historic rail infrastructure at risk of destruction.