“Digital warfare in the Sahel: popular networks of war and Cultural Violence”

This spring, Mirjam de Bruijn starts a new research project funded by NWO. The project, titled Digital warfare in the Sahel: popular networks of war and Cultural Violence, is an interdisciplinary endeavour in collaboration with DDMAC, as well as Digital Humanities at Leiden University, in which a team of researchers will study (trans)national ethnic and popular networks in the Sahel. The team, consisting of Mirjam, Jelena Prokic, two PhD candidates, a junior researcher, and associate members amongst whom DDMAC members Bruce Mutsvairo, Modibo Gally Cissé, and Kristin Skare Orgeret, will combine historical-ethnographic and computational methods to map and understand networked conflict.

The scholars aim to learn how cultural violence is legitimised and expressed by looking at online and on-the-ground sociality among Fulani. The map below shows the location of Fulani networks. In a first blog, Mirjam relays a story about her visit to Chad, where she met two elder Fulani men. Mirjam illustrates how modes of communication through smartphones increasingly entangle with traditional traveller stories and therewith people share knowledge of conflict in the region. Keep an eye on the project for more stories.

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