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

Goodbye, Piassa

The demolition of an historic district in Addis Ababa shows a central contradiction of modernization: the desire to improve the country while devaluing its people and culture.

And do not hinder them

We hardly think of children as agents of change. At the height of 1980s apartheid repression in South Africa, a group of activists did and gave them the tool of print.

The new antisemitism?

Stripped of its veneer of nuance, Noah Feldman’s essay in ‘Time’ is another attempt to silence opponents of the Israeli state by smearing them as anti-Jewish racists.