[CSH-DiSAA Workshop]
Digital Empire(s)
Perspectives from Asia and Africa


Event Details


The GDRI Digitalisation in Asia and Africa welcomes you to an open workshop on:

Digital Empire(s)

Perspectives from Asia and Africa

This event constitutes the launching of the Digitization and Society in Asia and Africa program, whose aim is to gather a transnational research team in order to analyze the deep changes brought by new information technologies in development policies, with a particular focus upon the circulations between South-Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The DiSAA project brings together partners from the Global South (South Africa, Kenya, India, Nepal) and North (France, Germany, Netherlands) around a shared goal: analyzing the social transformations brought by the digital technologies and the consequences of the increasing use of information technologies in development policies in the South. In addition to the innovative nature of the subject, the originality of the consortium lies in its transcontinental South-South dimension focused on circulations between South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The members of the consortium wish to build both a comparative discussion on the evolutions encountered in the two geographical areas and joint surveys on the circulation between the two zones (multi-located & connected analysis).

Detailled programme


9.00 : Welcome note by Nicolas Gravel (CSH)  & Mathieu Quet (CEPED- IRD)


9.15 to 13.15 : Session 1 on Digital Empire(s)

  1. On technological empire as an analytical tool (Mathieu Quet, CEPED-IRD).
  2. Skeletal and elephantine bureaucracies in Africa and India : comparing histories of registration and their effects on digital infrastructures. (Keith Breckenridge, Wiser)
  3. From Ghana to India, saving the global south’s mothers with a digital empire  (Marine Al Dahdah, Cems-CNRS).
  4. Digital and Visual Populism: Personalised Politics and Online Publics in the PostColony (Krishanu Bhargav Neog, CPS-JNU)
  5. Feedback Loops and (In)Significant Voices: Social Interactions with ID Systems of Digital Empires in South Asia and East Africa- (Rajiv Mishra, CSSP-JNU)
  6. Netflix, Amazon Video and Jio Cinema : Reflection on the notion of digital empires through the prism of audiovisual platforms (Christine Ithurbide, LabSIC-Paris13)
  7. Colonializing the nation through digital technology (Ursula Rao, Leipzig University)

Lunch Break


14.00 to 18.30 : Session 2 on Digital Empire(s)

  1. The invention of the electoral biometrics market in Africa (Marielle Debos, Univ. Paris Nanterre)
  2. Tracing digital governance and the history of ICTD developments in India. (Khetrimayum Monish Singh, CIS).
  3. Marketizing water in Kenya: From “dependency syndrome” towards a radiant future? (Christiane Tristl, Goethe Universitat)
  4. Calibrating digital payments in India (Javed Alam, JNU-Univ. of Paris)
  5. Digital Empire as Biometric Labor Division. Notes for a regressive anthropology of technology from the Senegalese electoral administration (Cecilia Passanti, University of Paris)
  6. The Rise of the Invisible Publics: Reality TV as Visibility Infrastructures in Northeast India (Sagorika Singha,SAA-JNU)
  7. Digitalization of social security in Nepal (Sohan Sha, Martin Chautari)
  8. The digital in communicating peace and conflict in the Sahel (Mirjam de Bruijn, Leiden University)

For registration: RSVP mentioning your full name to: neeru [dot] gohar [at] csh-delhi [dot] com
(!) Due to security protocols, we request you to please pre-register over email and kindly carry an ID proof to be granted access to the venue.

Photo credit: Marine Al-Dahdah

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