SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Christine Singer

  • Overview


Christine Singer
Ms Christine Singer
Email address:
Office Hours:
By email appointment
Thesis title:
“Born Free”? Youth and Screen Media in Post-Apartheid South Africa (1994-2012)
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


During undergraduate and postgraduate study, I specialised in African screen media, popular youth culture, “media and development”, and representations of childhood and youth in contemporary film and television. I am currently an editor of Red Feather Journal, an international journal for children’s visual cultures. Alongside academic research, I have worked with local and international NGOs, media organisations, and cultural events designed for young people, most recently, as Arts and Education Programme Assistant of Film Africa, the UK’s major annual festival for African film and culture.

PhD Research

My doctoral thesis investigates a selection of contemporary “alternative” films and television series which centre on the subject of coming of age in the “new” South Africa. Each of the fiction films, documentaries, and television drama series deals with highly relevant issues concerning historically marginalised youths including sexual violence, HIV/AIDS, gender, and popular youth culture. It is the ultimate aim of the thesis to explore the potential of these screen media to create "counterpublics" (Fraser 1990), that is, opportunities for disenfranchised youths to create and circulate representations of their own identities, needs, and interests, and to subvert dominant public discourses legitimising their continuous subjugation.

To do so, the screen media case studies are approached from three different angles: the first angle discusses the representations of youth within the selected films and television series in relation to ongoing public discourse about South Africa’s young generation; the second angle investigates the context and ethics of the making of these films and television programmes; and the third engages in a comparative analysis of their public engagements in South Africa and the United Kingdom. These public engagements encompass oral responses from audiences, as well as written articles, reviews, and commentaries in newspapers, magazines, academic critiques, and on the internet.


Singer, Christine (forthcoming). ‘Participatory Video and HIV/AIDS in South Africa.’ In: Kiran Prasad (ed.), New Media and Development. BRPC: New Delhi.

Singer, Christine (2013). ‘Film Africa 2012: Education Programme.’ Journal of African Cultural Studies 25:1, pp. 133-136.

Singer, Christine and Lindiwe Dovey (2012). ‘Representations of African childhood in conflict and post-conflict contexts: Johnny Mad Dog, Ezra, and Sleepwalking Land.’ In: Olson, Debbie and Scahill, Andrew (eds.), Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema. Plymouth: Lexington Books, pp. 151-174.

Conference papers

‘Youth, HIV/AIDS, and Media Advocacy in South Africa: The Steps for the Future Film Project.’ 5th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS), Lisbon, 27-29 June 2013.

‘Mediating the “Born Frees”: Youth and Screen Media in South Africa.’ Biennial Conference of the Association of African Studies UK (ASAUK), Leeds, 6-8 September 2012.

‘Representations of Youth in South African Screen Media: The Soul Buddyz Television Series.’ Annual Conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Durban, 15-19 July 2012.