Queer agency in Kenya's digital media

Evan Mwangi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although scholars have noted the rising potentials for democracy in Africa as a result of increased use of digital media and mobile technologies, there seems to be a disregard or disavowal of queerness as part of that growing democratic space, as well as a related tendency to regard African culture solely in terms of mainstream writing and journalism. This article seeks to bridge this gap in the scholarship by means of a discourse analysis of comments about queer identities that can be found in the digital media (Facebook, chat rooms, blogs, YouTube comments, and online newspaper feedback) in contemporary Kenya. Following work on queer arts and low theory, the article explores the possibilities offered by the Internet to challenge homophobia in Kenya. While acknowledging that digital-media venues contain more homophobia than mainstream media (books, television, newspapers) in terms of intensity and quantity, the article demonstrates that they also offer a unique platform in which gay people can respond to homophobic representations of their experiences and desires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-113
Number of pages21
JournalAfrican Studies Review
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Digital media
  • Kenyan media
  • agency
  • homophobia
  • queer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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