CARGC Press Releases CARGC Paper 16 by Toni Walker
"Freeing Freedom: Decentering Dominant Narratives of Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa"
The Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication is proud to present CARGC Paper 16, "Freeing Freedom: Decentering Dominant Narratives of Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa" by Toni Walker. The paper examines the continuous struggle over meanings of freedom in post-apartheid South Africa particularly for marginalized communities.
In March 2020, Walker traveled to South Africa as part of her CARGC undergraduate fellowship and conducted a series of in-person interviews with Black women and Black queer artists whose works center the experiences of the marginalized South Africans and subvert the dominant freedom narratives. In the introduction to CARGC Paper 16, CARGC Interim Director Guobin Yang describes the outcome of Walker’s research trip as “a deeply moving and sensitive account of the experiences and voices of people at the margins.” Dr. Yang further notes that the narratives presented in CARGC Paper 16 have ramifications far beyond South African context and expresses hope that "Toni Walker’s project to "free" freedom by centering the perspectives of marginalized people will inspire both personal reflections and public conversations."
Toni Walker (C’20) is a media planner working at UM Worldwide based in New York City. She graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a minor in Consumer Psychology and Africana Studies. During her time at Penn, she concentrated in Culture and Communication, where she explored how themes of race, gender, and class emerge in popular culture. As a CARGC Undergraduate Fellow, her research aimed to gain a more nuanced understanding of the meaning of freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa by looking specifically at the experiences and cultural productions of Black women and LGBTQ+ South African artists.