Accepted Paper:

Diaspora, cyberspace, and dissent: the public sphere in the shadow of violence  
Victoria Bernal (University of California (UCI))

Paper short abstract:

This essay explores the significance of the spaces of diaspora and of cyberspace for political expression in the context of Eritrea's histories of violence and tightly controlled public sphere, including Mbembe's notion of necropolitics.

Paper long abstract:

This essay explores the significance of the spaces of diaspora and of

cyberspace for political expression in the context of Eritrea's histories of violence

and tightly controlled public sphere. These extraterritorial spaces appear to offer relative freedom from state control and political violence. Eritreans in diaspora have used cyberspace to express unofficial views, produce alternative knowledges, and to conduct political conflict without violence. The paper draws on my research on Eritrean discussion websites, the Eritrean government's website, research in Eritrea, and interviews with Eritreans in diaspora. I connect my analysis to current theorizing about sovereignty, biopolitics, and Mbembe's notion of necropolitics to consider how geographic mobility and the internet create new contexts for political expression and new relations of sovereignty and citizenship.

Panel W004
Europe in Africa – Africa in Europe: Borut Brumen Memorial