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In A Grammar of Lopit, Jonathan Moodie and Rosey Billington provide the first detailed description of Lopit, an Eastern Nilotic language traditionally spoken in the Lopit Mountains in South Sudan. Drawing on extensive primary data, the authors describe the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the Lopit language. Their analyses offer new insights into phenomena characteristic of Nilo-Saharan languages, such as ‘Advanced Tongue Root’ vowel distinctions, tripartitite number marking, and marked-nominative case systems, and they uncover patterns which are previously unattested within the Eastern Nilotic family, such as a three-way contrast in aspect, number marking with the ‘greater singular’, and two kinds of inclusory constructions. This book offers a significant contribution to the descriptive and typological literature on African languages.
Histories of Claims and Conflict in a Kenyan Landscape
Pastoralists, ranchers of European descent, conservationists, smallholders, and land investors with political influence converge on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya. Land is claimed by all - the tactics differ. Private property rights are presented, histories of presence are told, charges of immorality are applied, fences are electrified and some resort to violence. The region, marked by enclosures, is left as a tense fragmented frontier.
Marie Gravesen embedded herself in the region prior to a wave of land invasions that swept the plateau leading up to Kenya’s 2017 general election. Through a rich telling of the history of Laikipia’s social, political and environmental dynamics, she invites a deeper understanding of the pre-election violence and general tensions as never done before.
In: African Diaspora
In: African Diaspora

Abstract

The current system of the surveillance of migrants relies on biometric capture. To be captured is to be codified into machine-readable representations. This paper merges technological codifications with political discourse to explore the disproportionate capturing of black migrants in the UK. Using the historical treatment of Nigerian migrants in the UK as an illustration, this paper interrogates how contemporary technologies are used to codify and confine black migrants. This paper explores works from digital artists – Keith Piper and Joy Buolamwini – to address this codification of blackness using biometric technology. It calls for new technological cultures of coding that centre the disruption of violent systems of capture. Failure is defined as this disruption of hegemonic systems of codification and capture that aim to subjugate black communities. This paper stresses that it is only when technologies of capture fail that black and migrant communities can truly experience digital freedom.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

Digital media, diaspora and deterritorialisation have provided important ways to think about contemporary global flows and social ties. Digital diasporas as a unit of study have become especially relevant for social scientists, particularly anthropologists: In this paper, the author argues that digital diasporas represent both online communities and the ICT practices of those living abroad, which seemingly actualise the potential inherent in Castell’s notion of the Network Society. Examining the material and social dimensions of these ties, however, this paper moves to critique the notion of networks as stabilised representations of diaspora/homeland connections. Drawing from the author’s ethnographic research with tech professionals in Ghana, and with diaspora-based social media users in the U.S. and the Netherlands, the analysis posits that the asymmetry of Africa’s sociotechnical infrastructures is central to understanding the enduring disjunctive nature of these flows. Through interviews and analysis, the author illustrates how these sociotechnical systems configure Ghana’s global cyberculture.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

In 2015, a reading group in Abuja, Nigeria, started the hashtag #BeingFemaleinNigeria, which received widespread attention. Within the confines of 140 characters, Nigerian women and men shared stories of gender inequality, sexism and misogyny in the country. Using feminist critical discourse analysis, this article unpacks the tweets under the #BeingFemaleinNigeria hashtag, and teases out what they tell us about gender inequality in Nigeria, and the ambitions for emancipation. This article takes the stance that African feminism(s) exist, that empirical study of lived experiences of African women should define it, and not perspectives that reject and argue that feminism comes from the other. Therefore, this empirical research contributes to scholarship that seeks to define the characteristics of African feminism(s), particularly as the field is criticised for being over-theorised.

In: African Diaspora
Author: Itamar Dubinsky

Abstract

This article examines the cyberactivism of Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel. It adopts the concept of digital diasporas to probe the role that the Internet plays for members of the community. Based on interviews with Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel, content analysis of Eritrean websites and other online platforms, as well as government and third-sector reports, the article discusses the potential and limitations of the Internet in promoting the struggle of members of the Eritrean diaspora against dictatorship in their homeland, and in enabling them to deal with hardships in their host country. The research reveals three main uses of the Internet by members of the community: social-cultural uses, consumption of news, and anti-government activism. These uses enable the Eritrean diaspora in Israel to create a political sphere that cannot exist outside the web, maintain the cohesiveness of the community, make informed decisions concerning their future, and preserve individual identities.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

Based on fieldwork amongst Burundians in Rwanda, the Netherlands and Belgium, this article explores how information circulates transnationally in times of political and violent crisis and how ordinary members of the diaspora seek to manage these flows of information. Our main argument is that conflict in the homeland creates a massive flow of information across various digital platforms and that while members of the diaspora eagerly take part in consuming and sharing this information, they do so reticently. Rather than simply explore the information flows, their intensity, their ‘spread’ or their content, we explore how individuals in the diaspora engage in emotion work, as they struggle between being ‘hailed’ by the images and messages flowing with ever-increasing intensity, speed and urgency and their reticence towards getting too involved.

In: African Diaspora
In: African Diaspora