Muzane’s Weblog

Using Public Sphere & New Media for activism
June 16, 2008, 4:22 pm
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My final New Media project will focus on decolonizing spaces, privatized spaces. I want to reclaim my identity as a photographer/ visual activist/artist from the global South, reclaim my own work on sexuality politics by taking existing materials from various websites, internet based content and other textual sources –other art-writers, journalists, scholars based mostly in the global North. By global North, I do not just mean a geographic space a in Europe or North America, but rather I mean global North as in a social space, one that is linked as much to the history of colonialism as it is to class. The ‘North’, the ‘West’, the owners live as much in spaces in the global South as the global South lives in marginalized, de-centered, peripheral spaces in the North. I intend to use: google search, blog,,,, etc. as a link to all these sources, texts and pages into one site ( for easy access to any user who searches for my name or work online.

The purpose of the project is to show how media is not just a tool to disseminate information, but it is also a tool that restricts information based on various ownerships: of a hegemonic voice, of technology, of property, of resources like education. In a globalized world we are forced to be dependent on technologies as people move between states and communities to survive. This is nothing new since it was the new technologies of ship-building that allowed European slave traders to deport millions of enslaved Africans to the New World. And yet communication between families and communities was impossible because information was scattered, controlled by the powerful and developed for the uses of oppression and exploitation, and not for liberation. I would like to decolonize the technologies of the internet, of the virtual world, of communication and bring it back into collective and public hands.

For those who do not have access to computers, the internet, or the knowledge on how to use either, the strategy is to use printed posters with photographs and messages related to my thesis project on any site where communities frequent, so that visual access is freely available.

Access info. via computers


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Hey Zanele,

I think your reference to the use of slave ships to separate and classify people using what was then the most “current technology” for exploring the world and transmitting both value and information is a powerful one. Slave ships are also a powerful metaphor for the societal separation created today by those who have access to technology and media and those who don’t.

I can’t help wonder how, or if, you might use this metaphor in your new media project. I’m looking forward to seeing it!

Comment by elainebrodie

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