Cultural Netizenship

James Yékú proposes the concept of “cultural netizenship”—internet citizenship and its aesthetico-cultural dimensions—as a way of articulating online self-performance. Yékú not only explores cultural politics by reading hashtags, political cartoons, and protest selfies as visual texts for postcolonial studies, but he also examines how netizens in Nigeria, a nation with one of the most vibrant digital spheres in Africa, perform popular culture on social media as a way to disrupt hegemonic narratives and state power. Each digital product is embedded with social and cultural meanings, all connected to Nigerian political narratives and the performance of civic agency by Nigerian netizens.

To the best of my knowledge . . . there is nothing quite like it out there, whether in terms of the themes and questions that it admirably weaves together, or the audacity of its theoretical ambition.

~Ebenezer Obadare, author of Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria

Where the Baedeker Leads uncovers the many delicate layers that lie in the spaces between departures and arrivals, offering memories and stories. Whether it’s about journeys, personal transition, or changes in the seasons, the aim in these poems is to draw attention to the personal experiences and social conditions that push people away from home to the new landscapes, sights, and encounters that remind them of the times and place they have so painfully left behind.

From Mawenzi House, Toronto.

James Yeku’s collection is an atlas that ‘kisses the skin with fierceness.’ One can feel winter creeping, wings flapping, and cities as bodies withstanding the cold and the night. In Where the Baedeker Leads coexist the digital longing, the poignant prophecy, and the rising whir of unrest.

–Ignacio Carvajal, author of Plegarias

James Yeku is a delight to read, a joy to follow as he peregrinates. His powerful intellect and eye for detail does not burden his audience with pedantry, rather, his works lift the imagination as thermals lift the falcon.

–Tade Ipadeola, author of The Sahara Testaments