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Somalia: Media Law in the Absence of a State

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Part of the seminar series: Media and Intellectual Productions in Africa's Pasts and Presents

The paper looks at historically how voice (poetry in particular) and property have been regulated according to xeer law and sharia law in Somalia and examines the ways in which this has been applied to more ‘modern’ media such as newspapers and even telecom companies. It challenges ideas of lawlessness in Somalia and helps to explain how Somalia has established one of the more vibrant media landscapes on the continent and has fostered the development of innovative technology companies. The paper analyses power dynamics, concepts of community and the circulation of ideas and voice in present day Somalia.

Nicole Stremlau heads the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on media and conflict, particularly in the Horn of Africa.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Lent Seminar Series series.

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