Talking in the city. A historical-anthropological analysis of communication, urbanism and movement in postcolonial Kinshasa (1960-present).
The research program sets out to analyze the ways in which communication infrastructures have been co−producing the postcolonial society in Kinshasa, capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo (1960−present). This will be the first comprehensive study of the dialectics between communication technology (ICT), society and culture in an African urban context. The focus will be on information and communication technologies such as telegraph communication, short wave radio station, TV, landline telephones, cellular communication, Internet interactions. The program has both a theoretical and an empirical dimension. On the one hand, it proposes an inquiry into the anthropology of technology, a new subfield within anthropology that, from a critical perspective, relates technological phenomena to their socio−historical formations and political backgrounds. On the other hand, it implies ethnographic studies of the meanings of and practices with ICT objects and infrastructures in Kinshasa, and thus the project will contribute to the growing scholarship on DR Congo.