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

The skeleton in the closet

The novelist Nadifa Mohamed complicates Britain’s troubled, racist legal history through the personal tale of one otherwise insignificant person, a Somali immigrant to Cardiff in Wales.

Life to the sound of gunfire

Nigerians fleeing extremist violence at home take refuge across the border in Niger among an already fragile population. Together they proceed to carve out a way to live better lives for now.

Democraticizing money

Cameroonian economist Joseph Tchundjang Pouemi died in 1984, either poisoned or by suicide. His ideas about the international monetary system and the CFA franc are worth revisiting.