Digital apartheid

Pritchard, Gary W. and Vines, John (2013) Digital apartheid. In: CHI 2013 (ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), 27 April – 2 May 2013, Paris.

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We describe findings from a 15-month ethnography of hip-hop performers in Cape Town, South Africa. Mobile communications and social media are hugely important to the development of these performers' careers, opening access to collaborators, production tools, audiences and distribution channels. This group go to extraordinary lengths to gain and maintain access to these technologies, often by exploiting their social capital through musical and ethnic networks. We document that even after nearly twenty years of democracy, a ridged separation along racial lines persists, which can be seen in all areas of life including access to and proficiency in digital technologies. We illustrate how hip-hop performers harness these divisions both on and offline in order to distinguish themselves from other artists. Our research raises a number of implications for post-colonial computing, highlighting difficulties related to discontinuous access, and how international preconceptions of identity and authenticity emerge as a consequence of the increased use of communication technology.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hip-Hop; South Africa; Identity; HCI4D; Racial Inequality; Music-Making
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2018 12:50
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 10:02

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