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 "Disputes over the Past: The biometric passport and studio photography in Mozambique, 1980-Recent Times.” 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 price of contamination

Legal cases against foreign multinationals in the Central African Copperbelt seek justice for decades of pollution. But activists should also investigate the historical legacies of colonial mining companies.

Remembering Emma Gama Pinto

To those who did not know Emma Gama Pinto, she was just “the wife of Pio Gama Pinto,” the Kenyan anticolonial fighter, but to those who knew her, she was fearless in her own right.

Living on

The Indian activist ES Reddy led the fight against South African apartheid at the UN. More importantly, his life reflected the best of left internationalism.