Cyberwars of words: Expressing the unspeakable in Burundi's Diaspora

  • Turner S
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Abstract

As Burundi has moved from ethnic conflict and political exclusion towards peace, reconciliation and democracy, the role of the diaspora has changed as well. Previously, Hutu exiles saw it as their duty to provide uncensored information on the conflict and to fight for the right to express a multitude of opinions. By exploring changes in Burundian websites, the article shows how some Burundian exiles have recently embraced a position of nation-building. Meanwhile, the democratic reforms do not eliminate the anxieties and doubts of many exiled Burundians. These anxieties find their expression on websites where Burundians from all over the world create communities where they can express the unspeakable and float opinions that would never be acceptable in the political field. The article argues that the ideology of democracy and human rights depends on an exclusion of certain opinionsand that diasporic cyberspace may function as a repository for such surplus opinion where the unspeakable may be aired. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Burundi
  • Conflict
  • Cyberspace
  • Diaspora
  • Ethnicity
  • Politics

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Authors

  • Simon Turner

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