‘In the case of Africa in general, there is a tendency to exaggerate’: representing mass atrocity in Africa

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Abstract

Based on an analysis of print media and journalists’ interviews, this article examines the representation of atrocity and mass violence in Africa. It specifically focuses on the atrocities in Darfur and Rwanda and compares African and Western coverage of them. It argues that since representations (just as the knowledge that anchors them) are highly dependent on one’s social location, it is necessary to understand multiple representations of the same atrocity. Although the literature on representation of Africa has been critical of Western representations of Africa, this article argues that including African representations of the same provides for a more nuanced understanding. It uses interview data from Kenya and South Africa, both of which have had peacekeeping engagements in Sudan. Kenya and South Africa also have media fields that are more robust and freer than many other countries in the continent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-929
Number of pages11
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Keywords

  • African media
  • Darfur
  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • atrocities
  • knowledge
  • representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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