Cultural Translation of Technologies in Ethiopia
AbstractThe principal objective of this article is to show how technologies would be reconstituted in the social and cultural milieu in which they function. Focusing on the period from the last decade of the 19th to the mid-20th century, the aim is to discuss the cultural appropriation of technologies in the context of modern history of Ethiopia through exemplary ventures such as the first piped water supply, installing telephone lines, and introducing the first airplanes to the country. Mainly my endeavor being a study in philosophy of technology, sources supporting the core of my argument include books, newspaper articles, and popular lyrics narrating the adoption of specific technological artifacts in the country. The paper argues that, during technology “transfer” (a transfer across regions or cultures), technological artifacts do not only impact cultures but are also actively appropriated by them. Keywords: cultural appropriation/reconstitution/translation, mediation, technology, technology transfer, Ethiopia
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