African cartoonists do not have the right to ridicule and offend political leaders. As a result, cartoons that deterritorialize African leaders by taking them out of their traditional zones of power and comfort, and place them in absurd, imaginary cartoon ‘realities’ for purposes of criticism, are often met with censorious judicial and extra-judicial measures. These efforts are aimed at reterritorializing and rehabilitating the ‘tarnished’ images of the powerful and enable them to control their media images. In response to these pressures, many Sub-Saharan African cartoonists engage in symbolic ‘space shifting’. This is the phenomenon whereby critical commentary and political cartoons are deterritorialized or transferred from real space to cyberspace, the Internet and social media sites, for purposes of escaping censorship. This study focuses on a select group of cartoons and cartoonists who transferred their work from real space to cyberspace in a bid to escape censorship and political pressure.
- Internet in Sub-Saharan Africa
- media censorship
- political cartoons