Timing: 19:00 - 20:00

BRICS Media Systems in a Digital Age

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The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC), together with the Centre for Film and Media Studies will co-host a symposium titled “BRICS Media Systems in a Digital Age” at the University of Cape Town on 6-7 September. The event´s aim is 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 to be held in Johannesburg in July. The symposium is also supported by the South African National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS).

The emergence of the BRICS group of states as a new geopolitical power bloc has received substantial coverage in the media and in the emerging body of scholarship. The focus, has fallen largely on macro questions of economic development, international relations and political influence. Despite the media and communications industries being a central point of focus in BRICS action plans, only a relatively small group of scholars internationally that have focused attention on the role of the media in the establishment of the BRICS alignment and on a comparative study of media systems in the BRICS countries.

Further analysis and consideration of the media’s role in the BRICS countries, especially within a context of increased uncertainty on the level of global geopolitics and international relations, is therefore crucial. An understanding, for example, of how the geopolitical shifts associated with the emergence of regions outside of the old Euro-American centres of power – the ‘rise of the rest’ in Fareed Zakaria’s terms – are impacting global communication patterns, demands more comparative studies of countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The symposium aims to close this gap and to contribute to a better understanding of the changing media landscape form a transnational point of view. Scholars from all the BRICS countries will be attending the symposium.

Main topics to be discussed include:

  • Political economy of digital media in the BRICS countries
  • Digital communication and political dissent
  • Social media: polarising or connecting?
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet governance in the BRICS countries
  • The challenge of artificial intelligence

Confirmed speakers:

Jens Wendland, Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute, University of Arts Berlin

Nikita Konopaltsev, Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute

Klemens Witte, Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute

Changfen Chen, Tsinghua University

Brasilina Passarelli, University of Sao Paolo

Elena Vartanova, Moscow State University

Tanja Bosch, University of Cape Town

Lisa Thompson, University of the Western Cape

Sanjay Barthur, University of Hyderabad

Deqiang Ji, Communication University of China

Leonardo Custodio, University of Tampere

Dmitri Gavra, University of St Petersburg

Kaarle Nordenstreng, University of Tampere

Herman Wasserman, University of Cape Town

Musawenkosi Ndlovu, University of Cape Town

Bob Wekesa, University of the Witwatersrand


To register for this event please complete this registration form.


Event Gallery

more pictures here.

DOC publications on BRICS:

BRICS: An alternative platform for multilateralism?
The BRICS: Building a new international financial order?
Cornerstones of the BRICS development strategy: Outlining the world of the future

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Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town City Centre, 8001

To register for this event please complete this registration form.


For any queries please contact event@doc-research.org