How many times per day do you look at your smartphone? For what reason?
How would a refugee answer this question?
Within a decade, these small and beautiful (and complex) machines have radically changed our everyday lives and cultural practices. As disruptive as the invention of book-printing and the industrial revolution, but at a much higher pace and intensity.
However, smartphones contain resources that are extracted in some global regions with disruptive effects: On human rights and well-being, on economy, politics, and peace. Our smartphone experiences force people in the eastern regions of DR Congo into flight. And yet, a smartphone is an indispensable aid for refugees.
Our workshop will deal with these paradoxical cultural and humanitarian interdependencies of smartphones in a dialogue-oriented, creative and trans-disciplinary environment.
In our workshop, we will…
1. explore the cultural impact of our smartphone use in the industrialized world.
2. explore the cultural, political, and humanitarian impact of our smartphone use on those low- and lower-middle-income countries where resources for smartphone production are extracted.
3. discover the meaning of smartphones for refugees.
4. develop creative concepts of intervening along the cultural disruptions of smartphones, in order to foster their useful aspects, to minimize their damaging effects, and to protect human beings and their cultures where they are affected by smartphones.
Workshop conducted by:
Jörg Gätjens, ecosign/Academy for Sustainable Design
Andreas Zimmermann, missio – Pontifical Mission Society