Saturday, 9 July 2011

In Kenya, media never dies

This is true zombie media – undeads. Take that, planned obsolescence.

“…in Kenya, like everywhere else on the continent, mobile phones literally never die, because of the technical expertise of thousands of meticulous workers constantly dismantling phones, studying circuit by circuit, re-adapting spare parts, never giving up until they learn how to fix the handset or to unlock it. But this creativity goes further: modified phones with dual SIM cards, helping to cope with poor network coverage or high interconnection fees, solar or car battery-powered mobile chargers for area not yet covered by mains electricity – the list of opportunities sought after by jua cali entrepreneurs is endless, in a constant form of struggle for the appropriation of a technology designed elsewhere and originally with the devices' planned obsolescence in mind.”
(Ugo Vallauri, “Beyond E-waste: Kenyan Creativity and Alternative Narratives in the Dialectic of End-Of-Life” International Review of Information Ethics vol. 11 (10/2009, p.23)

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