The internet has surely changed everything, for the millenial generation it is now an intrinsic part of how we form our beliefs and how we perceive the world around us. In Africa, a continent misrepresented since it’s naming, the world wide web has opened space for Africans to tell their stories and represent themselves on a scale unseen in our recent history. This revolution of representation is happening now, it is a growing movement to reimagine what blackness is, and to contextualise it within the global cultural, economic and intellectual exchanges fostered by the unprecedented connectivity and unbounded creative control the internet offers.
Reconnecting Pangaea is a three part documentary series investigating the impact of the internet in Africa, looking at the socio-economic and cultural conditions of Africans online. The first episode focuses on creative content contributed by young urban Africans, exploring their challenges and achievements in providing an African perspective on Africa, a necessary revolution in terms of our representation online and beyond. The creative contributions from content creators of the continent greatly expands the range of racial and cultural representation, offering complexity in the face of the reductive stereotypes of Africa and Africans that pervade traditional media.
This episode of Reconnecting Pangaea features Siphiwe Mpye, former editor of the original modern youth platform, YMag. I’m pleased to report that BubblegumClub’s cultural contributions are mentioned in the episode alongside other eminent digital publications including MissMillib and Vanguard Magazine. Blacknation founder Andrew Simelane and RHTC founder and cultural entrepreneur Frypan Mfula are also featured with each of them emphasizing the importance of young, black content creators documenting our lives and experience while highlighting the exploitation of capitalist corporations cashing in on our creativity. The challenge in owning our ideas and monetising them is the next step in creating a world where the power relationships between creatives and corporations is subverted. The revolutionary road is long but the hustle continues. There are two more episodes to follow with the internet and it’s impact as the salient themes of the project. Reconnecting Pangaea provides an interrogation of the status quo, delving into the forces that create and commodify our cultures.