Postcolonial Girl: Migrant Audibility and Intimate Activism

Imogen Tyler, Rosalind Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In October 2010, Gamu Nhengu, a Zimbabwean teenager, was ejected from the popular British reality TV talent show, The X Factor, on which she was a contestant. There was a public backlash to what many perceived was an unjust eviction. Within days, however, Gamu became the emblem of a contrasting kind of eviction campaign, when it was revealed that she and her family were living illegally in Britain. `Gamu-gate`, as the case was named in the press, animated a wave of public anger and resistance, as the stakes were raised from eviction from a TV talent show to deportation from the UK. In this paper we explore ‘Gamu Gate’, as a way of thinking about postcolonial intimacies. We do this by setting out three key notions: the notion of mediated intimacy, the notion of postcolonial girlhood, and the idea of migrant audibility. Our aim is to explore the political possibilities of the ‘affective surplus’ produced by `postcolonial girls’—that is, how as `manufactured intimates’ they potentially create avenues for new forms of post-colonial migrant audibility, forms which might trouble the ‘current emergencies’ and neo-colonial logic of neoliberal capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInterventions International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2013


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