Nigeria’s Twitter Ban and the Logic of Cultural Netizenship | Annenberg School for Communication

February 24, 2022 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

Its ban of Twitter in 2021 marked the Nigerian state as an analog entity that forbids the agency of its digital citizens. In this talk, James Yékú will track the implications of this ban in the context of what he has called cultural netizenship, the organizing rubric for visual articulations of internet citizenship that often manifests through the performance of popular culture in an ontologically visual social web. Unlike the normative signals of netizenship as a performance of citizenship and participatory politics online, cultural netizenship evokes the deployment of visual and popular culture on social media to push back against the boundaries of hegemonic culture. Based on social media-enabled cultural productions that underpin meme culture as the most immediate and condensed mode of cultural and, especially, political commentary on digital media, cultural netizenship as a reiteration of the generative materialism of African popular arts, Yékú will argue, is one notable and subversive practice in a complex system of relations between an analog state in Nigeria and digital subjects.



February 24, 2022
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm