Online exhibition: Human traces in the landscape

Online exhibition: Human traces in the landscape
The online exhibition Human traces in the landscape conveys impressions and sentiments from rapidly changing frontier areas in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. (Visit the exhibition at: https://www.ihmisenjaljetmaisemassa.fi/gallery)

 

On the frontiers of Southeast Asia, far from the centres of power, people’s lives and landscapes are rapidly changing and environmental problems caused by the commodification of nature are common.

 

These frontiers may seem distant, but through the global market economy, they are directly linked to the lives of people in Finland. Frontiers are the sources of raw materials of daily commodities. For example, cocoa, rubber, and oil palm is cultivated on frontiers – all of them raw materials for commonly used consumer products. The inhabitants of these frontiers produce their own subsistence as well as these raw materials and try to live amidst uncertain markets and environmental changes.

 

Through photographs and videos, the exhibition showcases life on the frontiers of Central Kalimantan (Indonesia) and Pomio (Papua New Guinea), old and new livelihoods as well as changes brought by natural resource projects.

 

The exhibition is based on a research project, in which the project members have studied the frontiers through participant observation and digital methods. Findings of the project have been published in scientific articles and books. Researchers Anu Lounela and Tuomas Tammisto have taken ethnographic photographs in Central Kalimantan and East Pomio. Indonesian photographers Agus Kusnadi and Rifky have photographed and filmed life in Central Kalimantan. Anne Mari-Ahonen has designed and curated the exhibition. The cooperation of experienced Indonesian documentarists, Finnish researchers and a professional curator presents unique insights into the life on frontiers.

New publication: A Village Goes Mobile

Tenhunen, Sirpa 2018. A Village Goes Mobile: Telephony, Mediation, and Social Change in Rural India. Oxford University Press.  ISBN: 9780190630270.

In A Village Goes Mobile: Telephony, Mediation and Social Change in Rural India, Sirpa Tenhunen examines how the mobile telephone has contributed to social change in rural India. Tenhunen’s long-term ethnographic fieldwork in West Bengal began before the village had a phone system in place and continued through the introduction and proliferation of the smartphone. She here analyzes how mobile telephones emerged as multidimensional objects which, in addition to enabling telephone conversations, facilitated status aspirations, internet access, and entertainment practices. She explores how this multifaceted use of mobile phones has affected agency and power dynamics in economic, political, and social relationships, and how these new social constellations relate to culture and development.

In eight chapters, Tenhunen asks such questions as: Who benefits from mobile telephony and how? Can people use mobile phones to change their lives, or does phone use merely amplify existing social patterns and power relationships? Can mobile telephony induce development? Going beyond the case of West Bengal, Tenhunen develops a framework to understand how new media mediates social processes within interrelated social spheres and local hierarchies by relating, mediasaturated forms of interaction to pre-existing contexts.

The book is also available as an e-book.

If you are interested in reviewing the book, please, contact Sirpa Tenhunen (sirpa.tenhunen(a)helsinki.fi).

Order the book through Oxford University Press .