Join Julie Soleil Archambault at La Petite D+Q (176 Bernard O.) on Thursday, November 23rd at 7:00 pm for the launch of Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy, and the Politics of Pretence in Mozambique! Archambault will be in conversation with Andrew Ivaska, Associate Professor of History at Concordia University, and Blair Rutherford, Professor of Anthropology at Carleton University.
Now part and parcel of everyday life almost everywhere, mobile phones have radically transformed how we acquire and exchange information. Many anticipated that in Africa, where most have gone from no phone to mobile phone, improved access to telecommunication would enhance everything from entrepreneurialism to democratization to service delivery, ushering in socio-economic development.
With Mobile Secrets, Julie Soleil Archambault offers a complete rethinking of how we understand uncertainty, truth, and ignorance by revealing how better access to information may in fact be anything but desirable. By engaging with young adults in a Mozambique suburb, Archambault shows how, in their efforts to create fulfilling lives, young men and women rely on mobile communication not only to mitigate everyday uncertainty but also to juggle the demands of intimacy by courting, producing, and sustaining uncertainty. In their hands, the phone has become a necessary tool in a wider arsenal of pretense—a means of creating the open-endedness on which harmonious social relations depend in postwar postsocialist Mozambique. As Mobile Secrets shows, Mozambicans have harnessed the technology not only to acquire information but also to subvert regimes of truth and preserve public secrets, allowing everyone to feign ignorance about the workings of the postwar intimate economy.
JULIE SOLEIL ARCHAMBAULT is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University. She received her PhD (2010) from the School of Oriental and African Studies (U. of London) and has been conducting ethnographic field research in Mozambique for over a decade