Symposium: BRICS Media in the Digital Age

29 Aug 2018 - 19:15


Scholars from Brazil, Russia, India and China will join their South African counterparts to discuss digital media in the BRICS countries next Thursday and Friday. The Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, in collaboration with the Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute (DOC) based in Berlin, Germany, will host a symposium titled “BRICS Media Systems in a Digital Age” at the University of Cape Town on 6 and 7 September where issues such as digital activism, the political economy of BRICS media and media value systems in the BRICS countries will come under the spotlight.

The event aims to analyse the impact of digitalisation processes on society in BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and follows on the 10th Summit of leaders of the BRICS countries that was held in Johannesburg in July. The symposium is supported by the South African National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and the National Research Foundation (NRF).

A range of speakers from Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Germany and Finland will be offering their expertise on BRICS media. Apart from leading scholars in the field, media practitioners and policymakers will also present their views on media in the BRICS countries on a special panel.

The symposium also follows on ongoing international research on media systems in the BRICS countries conducted by Prof Herman Wasserman, Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies at UCT and Associate Prof Musawenkosi Ndlovu. The event is open to all students and the public, and attendance is free.


6 September 14:00

7 September 08:00

Venue: Centre for African Studies Gallery and New Lecture Theatre

Upper Campus, University of Cape Town

Visit for the full programme and more information, or email Prof Herman Wasserman or conference assistant Willemien Calitz for any enquiries.



Programme of Symposium: BRICS Media in the Digital Age

University of Cape Town, 6-7 September 2018

Thursday 6 September

Venue: African Studies Gallery

14.00 Welcome: Herman Wasserman, Director: Centre for Film and Media Studies

14.15-14.45 Keynote address: Jens Wendland, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute: "BRICS Digital Media - A Chance for a New Global Dialogue on the Transformation of Communication."

15.00-16.30 Session one: Political Economy of BRICS Digital Media. (Chair: Kaarle Nordenstreng)


Venue: New Lecture Theatre

16.30-17.00 Coffee and Tea

17.15-18.00 Skype Session

18.00-19:00  Cocktail function

19.00 Film screening: “Whispering Truth to Power” by Shameela Seedat


Friday 7 September

Venue: African Studies Gallery

08.00: Coffee, tea and pastries

08.30 Welcome: Herman Wasserman, Director: Centre for Film and Media Studies

08.45-09.15: Keynote: Kaarle Nordenstreng, University of Tampere: “Media Systems in the BRICS Countries: The Global Order under Challenge”

09.30-11.00: Session one: BRICS Media Systems and Values (Chair: Jens Wendland)

  •  “Alternative Digital Media Systems from BRICS?”  (Jack Qiu, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • “Digitalization of Values: Prospects and Challenges” (Nikita Konopaltsev, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute)
  • “Media values in the age of algorithms: a Chinese perspective” (Chen Changfeng, Tsinghua University)

11.00-11.20: Tea break

11.30-13.00: Session two: Social media, digital divides and activism (Chair: Dmitri Gavra)

  •  “Digital Divide as a Global and National Issue: BRICS Perspectives” (Elena Vartanova, Moscow State University)
  • “Digital overlays legacy media with concerns that challenge India’s democratic political and economic structure” (Sanjay Bharthur, University of Hyderabad)

13.00-14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.30: Session three: digital platforms and everyday life (Chair: Jack Qiu)

  • “The digitalization of the economy through smartphone-based apps” (Klemens Witte, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute)
  •  “Challenges to Marginalized Voices in Digital Age’s Brazil” (Leonardo Custódio, University of Tampere)
  • Digital media practices of the less-connected in South Africa - from 
    backyard rooms to global BRICS networks  (Alette Schoon, Rhodes University)
  • “Media and Information Literacy In Education: The School of the Future Research Center Legacy” (Brasilina Passarelli, University of Sao Paolo)

15.30-16.00: Tea

16.00-17.30: Session four: Practitioners’ panel (Chair: Musawenkosi Ndlovu, University of Cape Town)

  • Sanusha Naidu (foreign policy analyst)
  • Krish Chetty (Human Sciences Research Council)
  • Mashilo Boloka (Department of Communications, South Africa)
  • Songezo Ralarala (General Counsel, Media24)

Venue: New Lecture Theatre

17.30-18.00: Conclusion and future planning. (Chair: Herman Wasserman)

18.00: Cocktail function