Africanizing Technology

The photographic record of an academic conference which key question was "How is technology rooted in a longer history of African experiences?"

Drew Thompson of Bard College talks about photography in Mozambique (All images by Solen Feyissa).

The program notes for “Africanizing Technologies” makes the point that Africa has long been a space of technological innovation and adaptation despite popular Western media depictions to the contrary.  As the organizers write, “… Africa is at the center of global technology stories such as the history of nuclear proliferation” and its people have adopted and remixed older technologies such as studio photography and cars, with a consequent “… rich and complicated social impacts.”  The conference was driven by the questions: “How is technology rooted in a longer history of African experiences?  How do the emerging technological cultures on the continent contribute to our broader understandings of health, education, and social change?  How does Africanizing Technology reshape our scholarly understandings of development?  Can we speak of a broader pattern of Africanizing Technology in the current global circulation of digital media and other technologies?”

Further Reading

A city divided

Ethnic enclaves are not unusual in many cities and towns across Sudan, but in Port Sudan, this polarized structure instigated and facilitated communal violence.

The imperial forest

Gregg Mitman’s ‘Empire of Rubber’ is less a historical reading of Liberia than a history of America and racial capitalism through the lens of a US corporate giant.

Africa’s next great war

The international community’s limited attention span is laser-focused on jihadism in the Sahel and the imploding Horn of Africa. But interstate war is potentially brewing in the eastern DRC.

The Cape Colony

The campaign to separate South Africa’s Western Cape from the rest of the country is not only a symptom of white privilege, but also of the myth that the province is better run.

Between East Africa and the Gulf

Political encounters between the Arab Gulf and Africa span centuries. Mahmud Traouri’s novel ‘Maymuna’ demonstrates the significant role of a woman’s journey from East Africa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Āfrīqāyī

It’s not common knowledge that there is Iran in Africa and there is Africa in Iran. But there are commonplace signs of this connection.

It could happen to us

Climate negotiations have repeatedly floundered on the unwillingness of rich countries, but let’s hope their own increasing vulnerability instills greater solidarity.