'Bora Uhai': Performing Digital Vernaculars in Kenya

Danford Room 2nd floor Arts Building (R16 on the campus map)
Wednesday 28 November 2018 (16:30-18:30)

Speaker: George Olga, University of Central Lancashire

Part of the Africa Talks Seminar Series Autumn 2018.

Talks are held in the Danford Room, 2nd floor, Arts Building (R16 on the campus map). 
All welcome. 

  • Full seminar programme


Digital platforms have become important political and cultural spaces in the (re)making of new (political) subjectivities and socialities in Africa. The structural limitations of access and digital literacy notwithstanding, the unprecedented use of digital technologies across the continent over the last 10 years is reshaping various social and political practices. In Kenya, the relative widespread adoption of Web 2.0 applications has made them important communicative and deliberative tools and sites. They facilitate conversations, undermine official hierarchies and create their own communicative idioms and infrastructures through what I call new ‘digital vernaculars’.

This talk broadly looks at some of these vernaculars examining them as innovative if at the same time problematic interventions in Kenya’s cultural and political life, and as part of much older traditions of political practice. I focus for example on their capacity to record, analyse and to subject the everyday and historical experiences to broader and more open deliberative processes, borrowing from local and global circuits to not only make sense of the experiences but also to lend particular interventions agency and legitimacy.

Speaker biography

Dr. George Ogola is a Reader in Journalism in the School of Journalism, Media and Performance, University of Central Lancashire, Preston. He has published widely on the media and popular culture in Kenya. He is the author of Popular Media in Kenyan History: Fiction and Newspapers as Political Actors (Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor The Future of Quality News Journalism: A Cross Continental Study (Routledge)