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Title: Technology Cultures in Africa: Reflections on Smart Cities
Authors: Pype, Katrien
Issue Date: 17-Oct-2015
Conference: NVAS Africa Day in Delft: Africa and technology location:UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands date:17 October 2015
Abstract: By bringing to the fore the heterogeneous ways in which Kinshasa’s residents deal with technological infrastructures, attach value and meanings to those who handle technological equipment, and embedding these within discourses about knowledge, creativity and urban skills, my goal is to rethink what it means “to be smart in the city”. In this presentation, I attempt to see how in Kinshasa’s street, households, markets and hotels, Kinois are engaging with technologies, how they combine various registers of expertise and creativity, and how these produce variegated ways of “being smart in the city”. I argue that a close analysis of the ways in which concepts such as mayele (wisdom), mystique, boule and smart (in English) are used in relation to technology and innovation will (a) help us to take into account the socio-cultural contours of innovation and technology adaptation; (b) bring out the various scales of cultures of technology co-habiting in African postcolonial cities; and (c) allows us to understand how Western-based technologies arrive within a heterogeneous pool of indigeneous knowledge systems, dominated by its own experts and repertoires of mastery, morality, and authority.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa

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