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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Retooled by social media and new communication technologies, the cultural politics of dissent in Kenya has become bolder and more open since the return of multi-party politics in the early 1990s. Tracing such changes, this chapter highlights lively domains of creative expression that disrupts political messages and unmasks political power in ways that upstage dominant news media. Satire, popular music, graffiti art, and cartoons capture rulers’ excesses and vices, as well as citizens’ desires for change. Political humor in post-1980s Kenya does not simply toy with power or inadvertently reinforce it. Instead, the Kenyan case affirms cultural ideologies of satire that value it as subversive or potentially liberatory.

Keywords: cultural politics, dissent, social media, satire, cartoons, music, graffiti art

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