Diaspora, cyberspace and political imagination: the Eritrean diaspora online
Version of Record online: 28 FEB 2006
Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 161–179, April 2006
How to Cite
BERNAL, V. (2006), Diaspora, cyberspace and political imagination: the Eritrean diaspora online. Global Networks, 6: 161–179. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0374.2006.00139.x
- Issue online: 28 FEB 2006
- Version of Record online: 28 FEB 2006
Abstract In this article I analyse the Eritrean diaspora and its use of cyberspace to theorize the ways transnationalism and new media are associated with the rise of new forms of community, public spheres and sites of cultural production. The struggle for national independence coincided with the rise of the Internet and the Eritrean diaspora has been actively involved in the new state. Eritreans abroad use the Internet as a transnational public sphere where they produce and debate narratives of history, culture, democracy and identity. Through the web the diaspora has mobilized demonstrators, amassed funds for war, debated the formulation of the constitution, and influenced the government of Eritrea. Through their web postings, ‘Internet intellectuals’ interpret national crises, rearticulate values and construct community. Thus, the Internet is not simply about information but is also an emotion-laden and creative space. More than simply refugees or struggling workers, diasporas online may invent new forms of citizenship, community and political practices.