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Journal article

Pliz cal me: a fictional essay on cellffairs in cellfares

Muponde R ...see all

African Identities, vol. 10, issue 2 (2012) pp. 155-167 Published by Routledge

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Abstract

Through the genre of fictional essay, ideas to do with the personal experiencing of mobile telephony in specific situations and contexts in Africa are explored. The essay uses the trope of the much used ?please call me? facility as a way into a discussion of the weaponisation of calls and text messages, and the creativity around countering and subverting what should be considered the violence of mobile telephony. Beyond personal traumas associated with receiving and making calls, or texting, the essay points to the instrumentalisation of the sim card in one example of personal self-capitalisation and innovation. Above all, it is about what individuals do with mobile telephony, and how they tailor uses to needs, and needs to uses. The context in which the fictionalisation is situated is a time of rapid and traumatic change in Zimbabwe, and the specificity of particular responses to a life with mobile telephony. The neologisms cellffair and cellfare are apt characterisations of these responses to mobility.
Through the genre of fictional essay, ideas to do with the personal experiencing of mobile telephony in specific situations and contexts in Africa are explored. The essay uses the trope of the much used ?please call me? facility as a way into a discussion of the weaponisation of calls and text messages, and the creativity around countering and subverting what should be considered the violence of mobile telephony. Beyond personal traumas associated with receiving and making calls, or texting, the essay points to the instrumentalisation of the sim card in one example of personal self-capitalisation and innovation. Above all, it is about what individuals do with mobile telephony, and how they tailor uses to needs, and needs to uses. The context in which the fictionalisation is situated is a time of rapid and traumatic change in Zimbabwe, and the specificity of particular responses to a life with mobile telephony. The neologisms cellffair and cellfare are apt characterisations of these responses to mobility.

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Authors

  • Robert Muponde

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