Accepted paper:

'Infopolitics' and digital (dis)order in Kenya

Authors:

George Ogola (University of Central Lancashire)

Paper short abstract:

This paper seeks to explore emergent Kenya's disruptive expressive online digital cultures and the various information regimes of (dis)order emerging both from the margins and the centre as the public and the government engage in the making of a new political culture.

Paper long abstract:

As digital media becomes ubiquitous in Kenya, forms of communication enabling the creation of new individual and collective political subjectivities are emerging. Accordingly, digital media is assuming significant cultural and political agency as users fabricate new ways to express and organise themselves. In much of Africa, the production and circulation of information has always been attended by various economies of control, often part of a much broader strategy by governments to 'husband power' ('infopolitics'). The intention in part is to normalise particular 'ideologies of order'. The disruption of these orders and of state-sanctioned narratives, and the creation of new (dis)orders is therefore significant. This new information regime presents multiple opportunities for the growth of a new aesthetics of political practice, one that is disruptive and potentially transformative. Yet it similarly enables, even encourages new forms of state control as the arena of social and political negotiation extends online. This paper seeks to explore emergent Kenya's disruptive expressive online digital cultures and the various information regimes of (dis)order emerging both from the margins and the centre as the public and the state engage in the making of a new political culture.

panel Pol05
Technology and democracy in Africa