Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This article examines the role of new social media in the articulation and representation of the refugee and diasporic “voice.” The article problematizes the individualist, de-politicized, de-contextualized, and aestheticized representation of refugee/diasporic voices. It argues that new social media enable refugees and diaspora members to exercise agency in managing the creation, production, and dissemination of their voices and to engage in hybrid (on- and offline) activism. These new territories for self-representation challenge our conventional understanding of refugee/diaspora voices. The article is based on research with young Congolese living in the diaspora, and it describes the Geno-cost project created by the Congolese Action Youth Platform (CAYP) and JJ Bola’s spoken-word piece, “Refuge.” The first shows agency in the creation of analytical and activist voices that promote counter-hegemonic narratives of violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, while the second is an example of aesthetic expressions performed online and offline that reveal agency through authorship and ownership of one’s voice. The examples highlight the role that new social media play in challenging mainstream politics of representation of refugee/diaspora voices.

More information


Journal article

Publication Date





60 - 71


diaspora; voice; Democratic Republic of Congo; new social media