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The future in African media 
Melanie Boehi (Université de Lausanne)
Cassandra Mark-Thiesen (Africa Multiple Cluster, University of Bayreuth)
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Pamila Gupta (University of the Free State)
Percy Zvomuya
History (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Philosophikum, S90
Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel considers the polyvocality of media in Africa, and especially how African broadcasters, their subjects and their publics have used media to express futurity and claim their stake in the African future.

Long Abstract:

Media bears witness to time in a number of ways. Shaped by technology, structural dynamics and the agency of diverse media producers and users, media connects the present to the past as well as to the future. These connections are dynamic and entangled with national, regional and global political developments. Thus, this panel will consider the polyvocality of media in Africa, and especially how media were used to express futurity and claims to the African future. In recent years, the study of African broadcasting has moved beyond analysing the immediate political concerns of the present, to also ask in what manners broadcasters, their subjects and their publics use media to embrace the future they want to see, in both historical and contemporary contexts. Tina Campt, for one, has linked Black and diasporic image making practices with the carving out of Black futurity.

Audiovisual archives from Africa have recently been attracting an unprecedented amount of attention, beckoning scholars to interpret their production, content and reception in new ways. The future features in these archives as a discourse that was expressed directly in content as well as invoked in embodied visual and sonic practices. Ideas about the future further shaped the profession of media producers, the curricula of journalism education and individual career trajectories. The future was also a subject of contestation and censorship. Papers may consider broadcasters across a broad spectrum – on television, radio, in the digital realm. We invite them to consider discourses addressing future-making, contestation, refusal and speculation.

Accepted paper:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -