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

On Safari

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A private city

Eko Atlantic in Lagos, like Tatu City in Nairobi, Kenya; Hope City in Accra, Ghana; and Cité le Fleuve in Kinshasa, DRC, point to the rise of private cities. What does it mean for the rest of us?

What she wore

The exhibition, ‘Men Lebsa Neber,’ features a staggering collection of the clothes and stories of rape survivors across Ethiopia.