Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Botswana Notes and Records
Title Reconfiguring the City: Contemporary Youth Performance and Media Entertainment in Gaborone
Volume 45
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 66-76
URL http://www.ub.bw/ojs/index.php/bnr/article/viewFile/396/157
Urban youth and their creative energies form part of the discourse of urbanization in Africa. Their participation in reconstructing, accessing, and animating the African urban landscape is evident in contemporary media entertainment and popular culture forms such as music, song, dance, theatre, and mass media entertainment. This article seeks to examine contemporary performance and cultural formations that invoke cultural memory to construct the urban landscape of Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone. In particular, the article examines youth expressive art forms such as Hip hop and other trans-border musical genres, popularized traditional music, and new media entertainment culture. These performances elaborate African syncretic forms that underscore the power of African popular culture to navigate various social spaces and transform social identities. Urban youths use these performance forms to demonstrate how innovative practices could be used to interrogate social and political realities in the post-colonial space, including unemployment, poverty, xenophobia, migration, and HIV/AIDS. Using the notion of ‘urban noise’, the article teases out a strategy of critique that articulates the various ways that the youth navigate the African city–which is Gaborone in our case.

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