Social Media, Revolution, and Enforcement

The cultural economy of South Africa under apartheid was marked by illicit flows of many kinds, including books, video cassettes, and audio cassettes. The economic boycotts of South Africa in the 1980s and early 1990s made cultural goods expensive and often unavailable, leading to widespread and widely tolerated copying—perhaps most prominently of school textbooks. Government censorship and book bans made illegal copying an act of political resistance and gave rise to an array of clandestine distribution networks that enabled the circulation of dissident views. Apartheid’s restrictions on the movement of blacks and the geographical concentration of services in white communities further skewed media access, ensuring that the majority black population had almost no access to legal cultural markets. Vastly unequal purchasing power between blacks and whites meant that geographical barriers to access were, in most cases, redundant. (MPEE, pg.99) Continue reading “Social Media, Revolution, and Enforcement”