Interview with Mirjam de Bruijn

After a few days of conference and workshop, which are the impressions that you have? Do you think the workshop was a success?

We had a nice chaotic start and a program that was not too strong, which provided a friendly and loose atmosphere open for discussions. Also, the diversity of the “international experts” was very nice and showed the different methodologies and approaches to the subject. And the research task the students had to do already showed that they could apply the new learned and got grip of different methods.

The organisators Ludovic Kibora, Hans Peter Hahn and Naffet Keita succeeded in what they aimed at. It was a good team and it was nice to have Jella as an intermediate between organisators and students. The hierarchies between juniors and seniors were pleasant and the whole group worked very complementary, and we were lucky to have this group.

What do you see as particularity of the research of mobile phones?

As to the mobile phone, the economic part – “the revolution” – is there – it is easy to grasp if that is what you want to see. But what is behind it? The social, emotional – there is a lot of work to do. The workshop showed that this part of reality is hard to grasp. Research is not easy although it might seem so.  As a social object and something that helps with development the most interesting part is the way communication and information flow today. There is this question about Africa becoming an “information society”. Seeing the mobile phone as an “archive” (the “archive” as concept was positively received and discussed) we can try to grasp the beyond; this is especially the case with smartphones. This Workshop helps with that and shows the actuality of today.

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