By Jordi Bok As anthropologist Daniel Miller takes place behind the microphone to start his lecture, a whistle blows through the lecture room. It is not a starting signal, but the noise of a WhatsApp-notification. Some people laugh, some look annoyed and others just ignore it. Slightly embarrassed, the girl sitting next to me quickly checks her phone to see who contacted her at this inconvenient moment. This perfectly sets the stage for what prof. Daniel Miller is going to talk about today, 12 February 2016, as part of the Amsterdam Anthropology Lectures at VU University: social media. Lees verder
By Marina de Regt “Aunt, if you know any way to migrate to Europe plz just tell me, I wanna run away from this world”. Said, the son of one of my Yemeni friends, sent me this Facebook message some time ago. I was shocked and first did not know what to answer him. While I got used to phonecalls from my friend Noura, who I support financially (see blog), the desperate situation in Yemen had never reached me through chat messages on Facebook.
By Donya Alinejad In her latest speech on internet freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared the internet the “town square” of the 21st century. Clinton seized on the widespread attention for Facebook during the Egyptian revolution and used the opportunity to reiterate internet-oriented US foreign policy. Just days earlier the Egyptian people had ousted Hosni Mubarak, their dictator of 30 years. Cairo’s Tahrir Square had been occupied by protesters, stained with the blood of the revolution’s martyrs, and gained iconic status as the center of the 21st century’s most populous revolutionary movement. Soon after, protesters in Libya named the Northern Court in Benghazi “Tahrir Square Two.” If these events show us anything, it is that the town square of the 21st century is still, simply, the town square.