Digital apartheid: An ethnographic account of racialised HCI in Cape Town hip-hop

Gary W. Pritchard, John Vines

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2013
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Perspectives, Conference Proceedings - The 31st Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Pages2537-2546
Number of pages10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event31st Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Changing Perspectives, CHI 2013 - Paris, France
Duration: 27 Apr 20132 May 2013

Conference

Conference31st Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Changing Perspectives, CHI 2013
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period27/04/132/05/13

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