Story Michael

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An excerpt of the interview with Michael in Den Hague, the Neterlands

michael from Sjoerd Sijsma on Vimeo.

“Control and navigation”, Conference 14 and 15 February 2013

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On 14 and 15 February 2013 a conference was held in Leiden with the aim of presenting the results of the ‘Mobile Africa Revisited’ programme. The Conference was held under the title:

Control and navigation: people searching to reach their goals in an ever more (in)flexible world

In the invitation we explained the reasons for the conference:

Conference Mobile Africa Revisited Leiden, 14 and 15 February 2013 INVITATION

The programme was centred around the presentations of the programme team members, who are near to completion of their PhD theses. We also were allowed to welcome very interesting guest speakers. To consult the programme, click here:

Programme Mobile Africa Revisited 14 and 15 February 2013

For the conference we chose the form of ‘Debates’. The abstracts and papers were circulated on beforehand, so that the discussants could develop their thoughts. For an overview of the abstracts, click here:

All abstracts conference Mobile Africa Revisited

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On this page we will now present most of the papers, powerpoint presentations and short films of the conference, so as to offer you an idea of the event:

 Papers, Presentations and film images:

14 February 2013

Session I

9.30              Opening by Director of the African Studies Centre, Ton Dietz: Ton Dietz Openingspeech

9.45              Introduction to the programme ‘Mobile Africa Revisited’ by Mirjam de Bruijn, Francis Nyamnjoh and Inge Brinkman

+ Book launch:

Mirjam de Bruijn, Inge Brinkman and Francis Nyamnjoh (eds), Side@Ways. Mobile margins and the dynamics of communication in Africa (Bamenda, Leiden: Langaa RPCIG, African Studies Centre, 2013).

11.15            Case studies from the Programme

Debate I: Media in Conflict

–          Djimet Seli, ‘L’héritage post-conflit et la téléphonie mobile dans la région du Guéra’ Djimet Seli Paper; Djimet Seli ppt

–          Boukary Sangaré, ‘Conflit et mobilité dans le Hayré: l’usage du téléphone portable en période de crises’ Boukary Sangaré ppt

–          Inge Brinkman, ‘Communication in times of war and peace, southeast Angola’ Inge Brinkman; Paper Inge Brinkman ppt

Thomas Molony (UEdinburgh): Theses and discussion

Niels ten Oever (Free Press Unlimited): Theses and discussion

Chair:  Guy Thomas

12.45            Lunch

With slide-show:

–          Mirjam de Bruijn and Lotte Pelckmans, ‘Advertisements in Africa’s communication landscape, about messages and anxieties’ Slide show of ICT advertisements

14.00            Debate II: ICT, the Companies and Local Economies

–        Naffet Keita, ‘Les politiques publiques de télécommunications modernes au Mali : la téléphonie mobile en question’ Naffet Keita PaperNaffet Keita ppt

–          Walter Nkwi, ‘Letter writers and letter technology in Kom, Cameroon, before 1960’ Walter Nkwi Paper; Walter Nkwi ppt

–          Khalil Alio, ‘The Hadjaraye women between war and the struggle for survival’ Khalil Alio Paper

Olivier Nyirubugara (IICD): Theses and discussion Olivier Nyirubugara Theses

Annie Chéneau-Loquay (University of Bordeaux): Theses and discussion Annie Chenau-Loquay Theses

Chair: Robert Ross

Session II, chaired by Mirjam de Bruijn

16.00               Film ‘Ties through thin air’ by Sjoerd Sijsma & Mirjam de Bruijn.

Mobile telephony has changed the lifestyle of many African migrants, for example, now one can stay in daily contact with people ‘back home’. In this film we follow the social ties of two transnational family networks, whose ‘home’ is Cameroon. The arrival of mobile telephony at the end of the 20th century has transformed the social dynamics in these families in many respects

17.30                        Keynote address by Heather Horst, ‘Mobile crossroads: Reflections on the mediation of mobility’ Heather Horst Keynote; Heather Horst Keynote address ppt

Discussant: Francis Nyamnjoh

15 February 2013

Session III

9.00              Case studies from the Programme

Debate III: Mobility, Politics and the Role of the State

–          Tangie Fonchingong, ‘Changing state politics: changing social relations, Nigerians in West-Cameroon’ Tangie Fonchingong PaperTangie Fonchingong ppt

–          Fatima Diallo, ‘L’état-spontex : négocier l’autorité dans les marges territoriales. Le cas de Basse-Casamance (Sénégal)’ Fatima Diallo ppt

–          Hisham Bilal, ‘Mobile phone politics: the companies and relations with the state and civil society in Sudan’ Hisham Bilal ppt

Jasper Grosskurth: Theses and discussion Jasper Grosskurth Theses

Chair: Benjamin Soares

11.00            Case studies from the Programme

Debate IV: Transnationalism and the (non-)Border

–          Imke Gooskens, ‘Young Angolans on Facebook: creating some space’ Imke Gooskens PaperImke Gooskens ppt

–          Henrietta Nyamnjoh, ‘From transcending transnational transaction and material accumulation to negotiating emotional transnationalism’ Henrietta Nyamnjoh PaperHenrietta Nyamnjoh ppt

Koen Stroeken (UGent): Theses and discussion Koen Stroeken Theses

Chair: Inge Brinkman

12.00            Lunch

Session IV, chaired by Rijk van Dijk

13.00            Hans-Peter Hahn, ‘The phone as an alien object. Public rumors about misuses of mobiles’ Hans-Peter Hahn PaperHans Peter Hahn ppt

14.00            Charlotte Connelly, ‘The many politics of displaying Cameroon’s mobile culture’ Charlotte Connelly PaperCharlotte Connelly ppt

15.30            Final discussion led by Herman Wasserman and Oka Obono: Theses and discussion. Chair: Mirjam de Bruijn Herman Wasserman Final Remarks for discussion

16.30            Closure.

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In the Dutch press the event was announced as follows:

Conferentie van het onderzoeksprogramma ‘Mobile Africa Revisited’

Plaats en Datum: Poortgebouw, Leiden, 14 en 15 februari 2013,

THEMA:

Control and navigation: people searching to reach their goals in an ever more (in)flexible world

BUY AIRTIME HERE!

CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS!

CELL PHONE SPECIALS: STAY CONNECTED!

De mobiele telefoon heeft nog maar recent z’n intrede gedaan in Afrika: 25 jaar geleden bestonden dit soort advertenties niet. Toen zagen de bedrijven Afrika als een risico-markt en werd voorzichtig een begin gemaakt met investeringen. Maar tegen alle verwachtingen in werd de mobiele telefoon in Afrika een enorm succesverhaal. En de veranderingen gaan razendsnel: met de komst van de smartphone neemt ook het internet een enorme vlucht. Hierdoor zijn de ontwikkelingen van gisteren vandaag al weer geschiedenis… En de nieuwe communicatietechnologieën worden door iedereen gebruikt. Weliswaar op verschillende manieren en in verschillende mate, maar jong en oud, rijk en arm, mannen en vrouwen, plattelands- en stadsbevolking: bijna iedereen in Afrika doet mee in dit verhaal.

Om die dynamische ontwikkelingen in kaart te brengen lanceerden we in 2008 een onderzoeksprogramma, gefinancierd door WOTRO (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek in de Tropen). De nadruk lag daarbij op de verhoudingen tussen mobiliteit, sociale relaties en de nieuwe ICTs in zogenaamde marginale gebieden in Afrika. Wat was de rol van nieuwe media in arme gebieden waar tot voor kort zelfs amper wegen bestonden? We kwamen al snel uit op de politieke dimensie van de nieuwe media. Sociale hiërarchieën, economische verhoudingen en politiek hangen immers samen. In plaats van simpelweg te veronderstellen dat de nieuwe media ‘ontwikkeling’ brengen, moeten we concluderen dat het veel ingewikkelder is. Aan de ene kant bieden de nieuwe media allerlei mogelijkheden, ook aan kansarme mensen in Afrika. Maar tegelijk kunnen die kansen juist ook onderdrukt worden met behulp van de nieuwe media, omdat er meer controle mogelijk is. Zo wordt de wereld van veel mensen tegelijk meer ‘open’ en ook meer ‘gesloten’.

In plaats van de spreekwoordelijke ‘ivoren toren’ werd tijdens het onderzoeksprogramma samengewerkt met mensen uit de universiteit, het bedrijfsleven, de ontwikkelingswereld, beleidsmakers en vooral natuurlijk met partners in Afrika. Die brede waaier komt ook aan bod in deze conferentie. Het doel van de conferentie is om de resultaten van het onderzoeksprogramma naar voren te brengen.

We heten u van harte welkom.

Mirjam de Bruijn, Afrika-Studiecentrum, Leiden, Bruijnm@ascleiden.nl

Francis Nyamnjoh, Universiteit van Kaapstad, Zuid-Afrika, Nyamnjoh@gmail.com

Inge Brinkman, Afrika-Studiecentrum, Leiden, Ibrinkman@ascleiden.nl

Callbox: A phone call for only 100 Francs    © ASC 2008
Callbox: A phone call for only 100 Francs © ASC 2008

Mobile phones: the new talking drums of everyday Africa?

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Program workshop: Mobile phones: the new talking drums of everyday Africa?

On December 9 and 10, 2010 a program workshop was organised in Leiden, The Netherlands, entitled ‘Mobile phones: the new talking drums of everyday Africa?’. The workshop hosted people from various sectors, including academia, development organisations, the media and mobile phone companies. Here you can find the program:

Mobile Phones Workshop Program

For a preliminary report, click on: Workshop report

We created a separate webpage for the stakeholders’ workshop:

https://mobileafricarevisited.wordpress.com/stakeholders-workshop/

 

Paper on change and continuity in communication patterns

2010. Mirjam de Bruijn and Inge Brinkman, ‘Mobile Phone Communication in the margins of Africa Continuity and change of communication patterns and society’, (Paper at workshop: ‘ICT: Africa’s Revolutionary Tools for the 21st Century?’, Edinburgh May 4-5 2010).

Paper on security, mobility and the formation of identities

2010. Mirjam de Bruijn, Inge Brinkman, Adamou Ahmadou, Djimet Seli, ‘Mobility, political insecurity and the formation of identities (displacement cultures): A comparison of three areas of conflict in Africa’, (Paper presented at Conference: ‘Critical Perspectives on Security’, Maastricht, 27 and 28 May 2010).

Paper on conceptual history (south-east Angola)

2010. Inge Brinkman, ‘The social and the economic in south-east Angola’ (Paper at workshop Conceptual History, Stellenbosch).

Paper on War and Mobility in Angola

2009. Inge Brinkman, ‘‘War and mobility. Southeast and Northern Angola in historical perspective‘. (Paper presented at Conference 12 June 2009, Hamburg).

Paper on new ICT and Development

2009. Mirjam de Bruijn, ‘The Information and Communication Technology Revolution: Are we facing a New Development Era For and In Africa?’ (Norwegian Association for Development Research (NFU), Annual Conference 2009 The new global setting: development challenges and alternatives; University of Agder (Norway), 23-24 November 2009).

Paper on community, mobility and social transformation, ISS 2009

2009. Mirjam de Bruijn & Inge Brinkman, ‘Researching mobile communities and social transformation in Angola and Cameroon’, Paper presented at Conference ‘Communicating Africa’, 14 April 2009, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague.

Other Papers 2009

* 2009. Mirjam de Bruijn, Francis Nyamnjoh & Inge Brinkman, ‘Mobile communication and uncertainty in everyday Africa’, (Paper at Conference 9-10 October 2009, Rutgers, USA).

* 2009. Fatima Diallo, ‘Espace public et technologies numériques en Afrique : Emergence, dynamiques et gouvernance du cyberspace sénégalais’ (Paper at conference: ‘Politiques et modes d’appropriation des TIC dans les Suds’, Bordeaux 13-16 October 2009).

* 2009. Francis B. Nyamnjoh, ‘Africa’s Media: Between Professional Ethics and Cultural Belonging,’ (paper at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Windhoek, Namibia, in Distinguished Annual Public Lectures Series).

* 2009. Mirjam de Bruijn, ‘How mobile telephony (re)shapes the social landscape in Cameroon: a case study’ (Paper at ECAS 2009, Leipzig, Panel 99: ‘Connecting Technologies and Social Change’).

* 2009. Mirjam de Bruijn,  ‘Mobiele telefonie in Afrika: een nieuwe weg naar ontwikkeling?’ (Wageningen Volksuniversiteit, 5 September 2009).

* 2009. Walter Gam Nkwi, ‘Coast and salt wata Stories: Travellings and encounters of the Kom of Northwest Cameroon’, (Paper at Conference: New Perspectives in Cameroon Literature?/ Nouvelles Perspectives sur la Litterature Camerounaise?, Yaounde and Buea, Franche-Comte, France, April 15-17, 2009.

Panel New Social Spaces, ECAS 2008

During the ECAS (European Conference for African Studies) conference, Leiden, 11-14 July 2007, Mirjam de Bruijn, Francis Nyamnjoh and Inge Brinkman organised the panel ‘New Social Spaces. Mobility and technology in Africa’. The call for papers, the programme and abstracts of the papers can be consulted here.

The papers presented during the panel have been edited and published in 2009 as a book “Mobile Phones: The New Talking Drums of Everyday Africa”, edited by Mirjam de Bruijn, Francis Nyamnjoh, and Inge Brinkman (see under Publications!).

Innovation, connections and order

During the workshop ‘Innovation, connections and order’, held in Thurnau (Germany) from 3 to 7 june 2008, we presented a summary of our research proposal. The prime aim of the workshop was to establish lines of cooperation between the African Studies Centre and the University of Bayreuth as researchers from both institutes are interested in technologies and connections.

Other Papers 2008

* 2008. Walter Nkwi and Mirjam de Bruijn, ‘The historical mapping of communication and mobility in Africa’, Paper presented 2nd May, Basel.

* 2008. Inge Brinkman, ‘Orality, writing and new ICT: sources and methods in history’, Symposium, ‘Insiders and outsiders. Literature and the Arts in the Context of Globalization’, Leiden, 11 December 2008.

ICT and society in Sudan: a critical historical-anthropological approach

For the APAD conference of 2007 we presented a paper about ICT and society in Sudan during the International conference of the Euro-African Association for the Anthropology of Social Change and Development (APAD), entitled: Development, Liberalism and Modernity: Trajectories for an Anthropology of Social Change, held at the Catholic University of Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, 13-15 December 2007.

Country Workshop – Cape Town, South Africa

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Country Workshop – Cape Town, South Africa

Sunday, June 16 2013

Theme: Mobile communities and mobilities: Connections and disconnections in transnational social spaces

 

Mobility is as old as the history of every society, but has evolved from its rudimentary form thanks to phenomenal strides in air and road transport facilities. Today people can travel while sitting on the same spot, all of which is fanned by the revolution in mobile communications. ICTs, it is highly acclaimed, has had a ripple effect on a number of operations of public services – how this communication facilitates coordination, reorganizes our daily lives in a myriad of ways and makes transport systems more effective. But by far, it has compressed space and made it possible for families to stay in touch with loved ones far and near; it has aided the formation of free floating networks. Furthermore, it has facilitated remittances to families and has kept the home community knit together with those abroad echoing the ‘bush falling phenomenon.’ How have migrants and families in a home country appropriated the new mobile communication technologies to stay in touch with this home country and other migrant communities? Equally important are the mobile culture dynamics such as the emergence of relationships on the move, and the changing meanings of places, and times. The spread of wireless mobility and the diffusion of the internet worldwide, has made it easier to see how new relations, new technologies and new ways of interacting are rapidly providing populations with new challenges and new opportunities. The introduction of the new communication technologies has, therefore, in a way reformulated society in its image and by the same token, society has also reshaped these technologies by domesticating them to fit within their repertoires. Underlying these interlacing effects of ICTs that emphasizes the importance of flows, networks, connections and movements are the emergent mobile communities.

The above issues help to highlight key concerns and demonstrate why there is a growing interest in ICTs. The workshop as such, provides a platform for the researcher, researched and other stakeholders to assess how the findings of the study reflects the community, and also give an opportunity for the researcher to come under the spotlight.