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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Remediating orality: the cultural domestication of video technology in Kenya
Author:Ogone, James Odhiambo
Year:2015
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 1992-6049)
Volume:29
Issue:4
Pages:479-495
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:oral traditions
information technology
films
indigenous languages
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2015.1078541
Abstract:The influence of globalisation and its attendant modern technologies has reconfigured the manner in which orality functions in the contemporary African context. Confronted with the powerful presence of media technologies that threaten to supplant its central role in many African societies, orality has been compelled to reinvent itself by means of appropriating the same media for its survival. The result has been a process that seeks to recontextualise imported technologies in locally relevant ways. This article focuses on how video technology adapts to local Kenyan cultural contexts. Arguing that vernacular video films form part of contemporary cultural productions in Kenya, the article demonstrates how strategies of remediation, such as subtitling, re-oralisation, repurposing and immediacy, contribute to the reactivation of orality. It emerges from the analyses that local knowledge cultures actively engage modern technologies in a way that debunks any simple linear perceptions of the impact of mediatisation on African epistemologies. Through local agency, communities actualise their aspirations for a domesticated modernity that is simultaneously fresh and familiar, and therefore less culturally alienating. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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