Four Conversations with Canadian Communications Officers
at IMPACT, a partnership formed in 1986 (as Partnership Africa Canada) devoted to the management of, in their own words, ‘natural resources in areas where security and human rights are at risk’.
I discovered a remarkable convergence in their concerns, despite discrepancies in the size of their organizations, their sectors of activity, and the nature of their publics. This article presents their testimonies in the following order: how they learned their skills in humanitarian communications, how and why they adapted them to digitaltechnologies, the distribution
with individuals from
refugee backgrounds. The book addresses the overarching question of how individuals from
refugee backgrounds use digitaltechnology to fulfil their communication and information
needs. In doing so, Leung describes the scenarios and challenges that refugees face in
the three stages that typically describe their journeys: before displacement, during
displacement (in transit, refugee camps or detention centres) and resettlement. In her
analysis, she rejects the simplistic
, 2015 ; Fast, 2017 ; Read et al. , 2016 ).
Digitisation – the collection, conversion, storage and sharing of data and
the use of digitaltechnologies to collect and manage information about individuals
from affected communities – increasingly shapes understandings of need and
the response to emergencies. 2 This
use of digitaltechnologies produces ‘digital bodies’ – images,
information, biometrics and other data stored in digital space – that
establishment and entrenchment
of numbers within the humanitarian sector – aided by the use of digitaltechnology and big data ( Leeuw, 2012 ;
Dijkzeul et al. ,
2013 ; Jacobsen and Fast,
But these two notions – legitimising intervention and building trust –
are not specific to the humanitarian sector. Both are forms of quantitative
governance that have been identified in other contexts. This leads us to ask: what
. Important here is its privileging of the
design principle over the need for, or even the possibility of, political change.
Design Not Politics
The computational turn and societal dependence on digitaltechnologies has changed the way the
world is understood and the status of humans within it ( Chandler, 2018 ). The privileging of the design principle is central to this change.
Besides the spatial shift from circulation to connectivity, an ontological, epistemological and
methodological translation has also taken place ( Duffield,
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
market: it has become unwieldy and rigid
and needs to absorb something of the ‘adapt or die’ ethos that
prevails in the world of business.
Critics have for some years pointed to the problems with ‘innovation’.
Some have argued that supposedly innovative ideas were nothing new, resembling the
move to participation and accountability in the 1990s ( Sandvik, 2014 ). Others have suggested that there was
something particularly worrying in the focus on digitaltechnologies, the
As a technology able to picture and embody the temporality of the past, cinema has become central to the mediation of memory in modern cultural life. The memory of film scenes and movies screens, cinema and cinema-going, has become integral to the placement and location of film within the cultural imagination of this century and the last. This book is a sustained, interdisciplinary perspective on memory and film from early cinema to the present. The first section examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The second section examines the politics of memory in a series of chapters that take as their focus three pivotal sites of national conflict in postwar America. This includes the war in Vietnam, American race relations and the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of marginality in the geographic and cultural borderlands of the US. The book explores the articulation of Vietnam. The final section concentrates on the issue of mediation; it explores how technological and semiotic shifts in the cultural terrain have influenced the coding and experience of memory in contemporary cinema. It considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory. The book also examines the stakes of cultural remembering in the United States and the means by which memory has been figured through Hollywood cinema.
theoretical development in the discussion of memory crisis, especially
as it bears upon the notional ‘amnesia’ that has been
associated with digitaltechnology in, and as part of, the culture of
postmodernism. In doing so, I want to examine Pleasantville
(1998), a film that reframes the relationship between colourisation and
cultural remembrance in a period where ‘digital cinema’ had
become, by the late
Reframing “sensing” and data generation in citizen science for empowering
João Porto de Albuquerque and André Albino de Almeida
Modes of engagement:
Reframing “sensing” and data
generation in citizen science for
João Porto de Albuquerque and
André Albino de Almeida
The dissemination of digitaltechnologies has provoked a renewed interest in
initiatives that seek to involve citizens and communities in the generation of data
and in “citizen science.” The aim of these initiatives is often to widen participation by including citizens in processes hitherto not very accessible to them,
such as the collaborative mapping of human settlements (de
And you don’t know how
comprehend our very human your practice is going to
relationship with urban olfac- change in a year’s time
because you don’t know
what the smellers will
enjoy and how that will
Yeah, so as far as I’m con- alter your practice?
cerned, the practice is open source. If somebody
else wants to go out and do it as well, I would love
to see the results.
Mapping the quixotic volatility of smellscapes 89
Traditional maps are rendered in two dimensions; digitaltechnologies afford us the options of
mapping in four dimensions, but I