From Baraza to Cyberbaraza: Interrogating Publics in the Context of the 2015 Zanzibar Electoral Impasse
An attentive analysis of the dynamics of communication and its contents through digital media reveals the multiple publics and counterpublics shaped and constituted in online fora. They develop through a 'networked sociality', which is both local and global, involving also diasporic Zanzibaris who debate and participate in common public concerns. Drawn from the notion of baraza as a relevant example of Zanzibari's public sphere, cyberbaraza is a 'locally' grounded concept forged to understand the construction of publics on the Zanzibar islands through digital media. Focusing on online public discussions that contested or legitimized official decisions concerning the 2015 elections, the study critically examines how the cyberbaraza comes into being a public, as part of a multiplicity of existing public spheres.