- This event has passed.
OII Technology and Mobilities in Africa Seminar Series: From FM radio stations to Internet 2.0 overnight – information, mobility and social media in post-failed coup Burundi (Oxford, UK)
March 13, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
The OII is excited to welcome JB Falisse from the University of Edinburgh for the Technology and Mobilities in Africa talk “From FM radio stations to Internet 2.0 overnight: information, mobility and social media in post-failed coup Burundi”.
The failed coup of 13 May 2015 led, overnight, to the quasi-destruction of independent media in Burundi. Ordinary citizens, journalists, and politicians turned to social media to gather information, voice their opinion, and try and influence public life. This paper considers this fast transition, the ways citizens, diaspora members, refugees, journalists, and politicians have navigated it, and the sort of public space it has contributed to building. In line with the literature on social media, it is argued that a new public space was –somewhat forcibly– opened. However, we also contend that this space is not necessarily more inclusive of the ordinary citizen, be they than the space available to citizens during the ‘golden era’ of Burundian FM stations (2005-2013). Although some platforms, and in particular WhatsApp, are vital for the circulation of underground information and can act as an alert system, social media seems, overall, ruled by a minority of brokers who partially overlap with the ruling elite.
This is a free event but registration is required.