Borders, Media Crossings and the Politics of Translation: The Gaze from Southern Africa

Pier Paolo Frassinelli, Borders, Media Crossings and the Politics of Translation: The Gaze from Southern Africa (Routledge 2019).

Available on Taylor & Francis ebooks (as well as in hardback–paperback to follow):


This book examines concepts of the border and translation within the context of social and cultural theory through the lens of southern Africa.

Borders, Media Crossings and the Politics of Translation studies a diverse range of media representations of borders, imagined borders, border struggles, collectivity boundaries and scenes of translation: films, documentaries, literary texts, photographs, websites and other media texts and artistic interventions. The book makes a case for bringing together media texts and sociocultural experiences across multiple platforms. It argues that this transdisciplinary approach is singularly suited to the age of media convergence, when words, speech, music, videos and images compete for attention on the screens of digital devices where the written, oral, aural and visual are constantly mixed and remixed. But it also reminds the reader of the digital divides linked to socioeconomic, cultural, language and geopolitical borders.

With its focus on sociocultural borders and translation, this book will be of interest to scholars and students of media studies, African studies and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

1 The gaze from the south. 2 Heading south. 3 Intersecting temporalities, cultural (un)translatability and African film aesthetics. 4 Living in translation. 5 Reframing the rainbow. 6 Signs of the times.


Borders, Media Crossings and the Politics of Translation is a thoughtful and sophisticated philosophical meditation on borders, translation and media and culture as agents of socio-cultural change, viewed from the perspective of the South. It ties in with a growing literature that critiques the Northern theoretical hegemony and contributes to ongoing debates in this area. Its tone is confident and its voice distinct.

Herman Wasserman, University of Cape Town

In this invigorating work written from the fecund vantage point of southern Africa, Pier Paolo Frassinelli deftly identifies the social borders created by our uneven world’s diverse “cultural time zones” but also the media crossings and translations that sometimes succeed in subverting our politically polarised planet.

Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, University of the Witwatersrand