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Conference paper Conference paper Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:Media and identity in Africa
Editors:Njogu, KimaniISNI
Middleton, JohnISNI
Series:International African seminars, New series
City of publisher:Edinburgh
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:mass media
conference papers (form)
Abstract:Media and the construction of identity in Africa was the topic of a seminar held by the International African Institute, London, in Nairobi, Kenya, from 3 to 7 August 2004. The papers given at the seminar are presented here in three sections. The first section includes chapters on the media, community and identity by Karin Barber, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Alamin Mazrui, Goretti Linda Nassanga, Francis B. Nyamnjoh, John Kiarie Wa'Njogu, Eric Masinde Aseka and Macharia Munene. They discuss the history of the media in Africa and the problems of defining new communities and their identities as affected by the media. The other two sections are on the media themselves, the first on the global media and the second on the less familiar local media, not only as responses to the former but with histories and cultural meanings in their own right. The basic questions discussed by the authors of these chapters are 'what do the media do in Africa?' and 'how do they work?' The answers are found by presenting ethnographic examples of a wide range of media. Case studies in the section on the global media focus on publishing (Cecilia Kimani), Pentecostalism and modern audiovisual media (Birgit Meyer), storytelling for health (Kimani Njogu), education (Charles Ngome), Horn of Africa and Kenya diaspora websites (Ann Biersteker), popular dance music (John Collins) and Muslim Hausa video films (Abdalla Uba Adamu). Case studies in the section on local media cover the Bakor Photo Studio in Lamu, Kenya (Heike Behrend), Tanzanian music videos (Kelly M. Askew), the Gikuyu political plays of Wahome Mutahi (Bantu Mwaura), Akwapim clothing and cloth designs (Michelle Gilbert), museums (Simiyu Wandibba), literary and book prizes (Walter Bgoya), Nairobi 'matatu' culture (Mbugua wa Mungai), cartooning in Kenya (Patrick Gathara and Mary Kabura Wanjau) and the representation in the Kenyan news media of the 1997 crisis in coastal Kenya (Diane M. Ciekawy). In an epilogue, a wide view of the seminar is given by its chairman, Valentin Y. Mudimbe. [ASC Leiden abstract]