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Centre of African Studies: Events


Bora Uhai: Performing Digital Vernaculars in Kenya

Bora Uhai: Performing Digital Vernaculars in Kenya
Speaker: Dr George Otieno Ogola # University of Central Lancashire
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Date and Time
7th Nov 2018 16:00 - 7th Nov 2018 17:30
Seminar Rooms 1 & 2, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LD

Digital platforms have become important political and cultural spaces in the (re)making of new (political) subjectivities and socialities in Africa. The structural limitations of access and digital literacy notwithstanding, the unprecedented use of digital technologies across the continent over the last 10 years is significantly (re-)shaping various social and political practices. In Kenya, the relative ubiquity and widespread adoption of Web 2.0 applications has made them important communicative and deliberative tools and spaces. They facilitate conversations, undermine and disrupt official hierarchies, create their own communicative idioms and infrastructures through a range of ‘digital vernaculars’.

This talk broadly looks at some of these vernaculars examining them as innovative if at the same time problematic interventions in Kenya’s cultural and political life. But I also examine them as part of much older traditions of popular engagement. I examine their creative capacity to record, analyse and subject the everyday and historical experiences to broader and radical deliberative processes, borrowing from local and global circuits to not only make sense of the present but also to lend particular interventions  agency and legitimacy. 

Dr George Otieno Ogola's profile.