Leiden Talk (Jan 2014): Talk on ‘Digital technology in the Wild and Every day: Case Studies from the Slums of Urban India,” at the Emancipatory Potential of Digital Media in Asia Conference.
This talk makes the case that the wild and the everyday point at once to twinned aspects of life and to a technological imaginary drawing upon the use of the mobile internet in urban slums of India. This position responds to the untethered way, from the point of view of state regulation, in which the telecom market in India has devolved to include poor populations stoking a repertoire of unconventional mobile internet use by youth living in slums. Our argument serves to locate the ‘wild and everyday’ as a specific sociocultural space in relation to use of mobile Facebook among young populations invisible to mainstream research on mobile society and culture. While development, as is conventionally understood, is not focused on purposive outcomes of digital leisure practice (romance, play, entertainment), we argue that online engagements such as these are a powerful precursor to developing technology literacies, skills and ecologies of learning.