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Biko was not only considered a ‘brilliant political theorist’, but is also considered ‘a formidable and articulate philosopher’. Biko was not simply and merely a philosopher in the manner in which Immanuel Kant was a philosopher, but a philosopher of a special kind, an important Africana existential philosopher. From Biko’s writings, speeches and interviews, Mabogo More’s view is that, philosophy is not a disembodied system of ideas nor is it a mechanical reflection about the world; rather, it is a way of existing and acting. To be a philosopher, especially an Africana existential philosopher, is not just to hold certain views, it is a way of perceiving and a way of being in the world, what Biko himself describes as ‘a way of life’. This important perspective on Biko would be of value to many Africana philosophers of existence, African philosophers, political and social thinkers, social scientists, psychologists, cultural critics, political activists, students, critical race theorists and anyone interested in the ideas that Biko presents.
How central are the media to the functioning of democracy? Is democracy primarily about citizens using their vote? Does the expression of their voice necessarily empower citizens? Media and Citizenship challenges some assumptions about the relationship between the media and democracy in highly unequal societies like South Africa. In a post-apartheid society where an enfranchised majority is still unable to fundamentally practise their citizenship and experiences marginalisation on a daily basis, notions like listening and belonging may be more useful ways of thinking about the role of the media. In this context, protest is taken seriously as a form of political expression and the media’s role is foregrounded as actively seeking out the voices of those on the margins of society. Through a range of case studies, the contributors show how listening, both as a political concept and as a form of practice, has transformative and even radical potential for both emerging and established democracies.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope is set to become the largest telescope on Earth, and also the largest science project in Africa. From September 2011 to August 2012, the SKA featured regularly in the South African media. In The Stars in Our Eyes, author Michael Gastrow dissects the representation of the SKA in the South African media in the period under discussion. Who were the main actors in this unfolding narrative? Who held the stage and who were marginalised? Where did gatekeeping occur and why? What was the relationship between journalists and scientists? How did the story unfold in the social media as opposed to the print media? Drawing on mass communication theory and science communication theory, The Stars in Our Eyes: Representations of the Square kilometre Array Telescope in the South African Media addresses critical gaps in the literature on science communication, particularly with respect to science communication in an African context.