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On the Way to: From/To Europe
metroZones

 

Jochen Becker for metroZones

upcoming:

Shedhalle Zuerich, 3. November 2006 - 28. January 2007
www.shedhalle.ch/eng/programm/thematische_reihe/from_to/

From/To Europe #3
Roaming Around
Digital Divide, Regional Codes, Copy/South & the Question of Access
Jochen Becker/metroZones with Agency (Kobe Matthys): quasi things - Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda: afro@digital - Julien Enoka-Ayemba: “Nollywood” - herbstCamp Graz: Global Control - SMAQ architecture urbanism research (Sabine Müller, Andreas Quednau): Mobile Kinshasa & exhibition design


The World Economic Forum, a private institute located in Geneva, has ranked Switzerland as the number one country in global competitiveness, highlighting its “healthy institutional environment, excellent infrastructure, efficient markets and high level of technological innovation.” According to the Global Competitiveness Report, the decisive factors justifying this position are the “well-developed” infrastructure for scientific research as well as the “protection of intellectual property.” In stark contrast, countries south of the Mediterranean occupy the bottom positions. “Africa will trail behind for some time to come,” comments the director of the market radical Global Competitiveness Networks, Augusto Lopez-Claros. Bringing up the rear on the list reporting on 125 countries is Angola, whereas the Democratic Republic of Congo, for instance, is not even mentioned.

The global copyright regime capitalises so-called intellectual property, basing its claims on the worldwide acknowledged Berne Convention created in 1886. Continuously modified, its enforcement is overseen under the name of TRIPS+ Agreement (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property) by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) based in Geneva.

More and more regions are joining this copyright regime. They subject themselves to the rules so as to be considered part of the global economy, even though this means first and foremost that the rights of the Northern “knowledge societies” are to be enforced in the South as well. Meanwhile, this is why the copyleft movements, organised around open source and creative commons, are reflecting critically on what up until now have been Eurocentric oriented problems. The internationally elaborated Copy/South Dossier (www.copysouth.org) documents this shifting focus.

The networked world is fragmented at the same time – also beyond the digital divide, as the social, economic, technological and geographic division in the access to data traffic is called. The divides run through the industrial states, but above all between North and South. Even the regional code for DVDs separates Europe from Africa. It has been said often enough: apparently there are more telephone connections in Manhattan than in sub-Saharan Africa.

But who stands there at the divide and distinguishes between the digital haves and have-nots? In the opening discussion to the book Vernetzt gespalten, a rewarding read, Rupert Scheule writes: “is our digital divide discourse also not a part of the captivating option which it is criticising?” One can counter the image of a schismatic split, which plays into the hands of the widespread Afro pessimism, with others: for instance, the rate of connections in the global South to the web (mobile phones, internet cafes, wireless LAN, WiMAX) is meanwhile increasing steeply in comparison to earthbound infrastructures (telephone, water, electricity, roads, railways).

Soon million of so-called 100 dollar laptops with open source software are to be distributed free of charge to kids and youths in the global South. Telephoning with a mobile handset makes everyday life easier in Kinshasa, for instance when finding work, and at the same time is an informal source of income for phone card vendors. Even the so-called Nigeria Scam, the million-fold fraudulent spinning of business connections via e-mail, is only possible thanks to an increasingly closely meshed network structure. One could also point out the “Nollywood” boom: a purely digital video movie market in West Africa. A trendsetter, the films are shot with digital cameras and distributed in huge numbers on DVD or VCD as well as shown in beamer cinemas. In the meantime, “Nollywood” has emerged as the world’s third largest film industry after “Hollywood” and “Bollywood”. “Nollywood” films are sold at the same markets as the so-called pirate copies of music, film or software, circumventing the global copyright regime. Access to knowledge and culture, which are increasingly assuming digital form, is existential, too.

on the way to: From/To Europe is the title of an outline for a project planned to be ongoing on Europe’s colonial foundations, tri-continental positions, and current post-colonial conditions in "cities of the world".
It accompanies the exhibition series ‚ Colonialism without Colonies?’ by the Shedhalle Zuerich.
www.shedhalle.ch/eng/programm/thematische_reihe/from_to/


on the way to:
From/To Europe #1
27. October 2005 - 15. January 2006
Jochen Becker/metroZones with Francesco Jodice, Valérie Jouve, Fahrettin Oerenli and Dierk Schmidt; exhibition architecture: Jesko Fezer; project dialogue partners: Manuela Bojadzijev, Julien Enoka-Ayemba, Stephan Lanz

Dierk Schmidt: Conférence de Berlin 1884/85 (2005)
Lecture. Hosted at les complices, Zuerich
25. November 2005

Rot lag in der Luft/3 (The Base of the Air was Red/3)
Film program on war and liberation, compiled and presented by Remember Resistance (Berlin)
26. November 2005



From/To Europe #2
Bourdieu in Algier, Bourdieu in the Banlieue.
A Commentary on "Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria."
24. February-7. May 2006
Jochen Becker/metroZones
Cooperation: Remember Resistance Berlin / Madeleine Bernstorff, Julien Enoka-Ayemba, Brigitta Kuster, Sonja Hohenbild
&
Pierre Bourdieu. In Algeria.
Testimonies of Uprooting
An exhibition by Camera Austria, Graz / Christine Frisinghelli and the Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, Genève / Franz Schultheis.

Symposium
Rock el Casbah
Bourdieu, Algier, Bern, Banlieue
22./ 23. April 2006
Jochen Becker/metroZones with Manuela Bojadzijev, Sönke Gau, and Katharina Schlieben - Guests: Mogniss Abdallah (journalist, Mouvement de l’Immigration et des Banlieues, Paris), Dietmar Loch (sociologist, University of Grenoble), Bernard Schmid (journalist, Paris), Daniel Weiss (gta Zuerich), Marion von Osten (Transit Migration, ith Zürich). Charles-Herni Favrod (writer and photo curator, St. Prex), Remember Resistance (Berlin)



From/To Europe #3
Roaming Around
Digital Divide, Regional Codes, Copy/South & the Question of Access
Jochen Becker/metroZones with Agency (Kobe Matthys): quasi things - Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda: afro@digital - Julien Enoka-Ayemba: “Nollywood” - herbstCamp Graz: Global Control - SMAQ architecture urbanism research (Sabine Müller, Andreas Quednau): Mobile Kinshasa & exhibition design

http://www.shedhalle.ch/eng/programm/thematische_reihe/from_to/
http://www.metroZones.info














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