One evening in May, I visited a bar in Dumfries, a small Scottish town of 40,000 people. When my host – the Scottish poet I was visiting on an exchange programme – introduced me to the bar owner as a Nigerian, she said she had something to show me. It was a local newspaper clipping from an event held days earlier, at which Dumfries’ residents had put up, in the town square, a display of shoes to symbolise the abduction of more than 200 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria on April 14.

#BringBackOurGirls had become the global flavour of the moment, and wielding a banner proclaiming the hashtag an instant rite of passage for multitudes of famous and ordinary persons across the world. (The celebrity roll-call included Sarah Brown, Michelle Obama, David Cameron, Kim Kardashian, Diddy, Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton, Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie). [Read more] – Michael’s Blog