Doktorat /

PhD: CityLabs project (Accra, Cape Town, Lomé and Nairobi)

Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium

The Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA www.iara.be) of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium is recruiting three PhD candidates to do ethnographic research (in Lome, Cape Town and Nairobi resp.) on ‘maker spaces’ in urban Africa, within the framework of our CityLabs project, a large comparative, ethnographic research, both on- and offline, of the engineers, students, artists, crafts(wo)men and inventors who align and identify themselves with the Maker Movement in four African cities (Accra, Cape Town, Lomé and Nairobi). 

Makerspaces such as Fabrication Laboratories (FabLabs)  are mushrooming. They are part of the ‘Maker Movement’, an amalgam of initiatives characterized by a DIY-attitude, emphasis on open access to data, knowledge and produce, and driven by environmental concerns. The main objective of this pioneering project is to do ethnographic research within t he framework of the CityLabs project. The CityLabs project asks how the current boom of maker- or hackerspaces in Africa contributes to the experience of city life on the continent, now and in the future. The project is set up as a large comparative, ethnographic research, both on- and offline, of the engineers, students, artists, crafts(wo)men and inventors who align and identify themselves with the Maker Movement in four African cities (Accra, Cape Town, Lomé and Nairobi).

The CityLab project looks into the impact these actors and their innovations have on the urban landscape along three axes: a) knowledge: how are hi-tech innovations reconciled with local craftiness and worldviews; b) environment: how do these actors envision a sustainable urban development; c) the products: what technological, cultural or aesthetic void do they intend to fill?

See the KU Leuven vacancy page for more details.

Research in Lomé: www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54712281

Research in Cape Town: www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54712287

Research in Nairobi: www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54712290

The deadline for applications is 13 September 2018.