I guess it takes a great excuse like “I’m headed to Africa and don’t really know what’s next” to actually get a blog up and running. Ah, so many great blogs have originated that way! I had been *meaning* to start up a blog, or maybe start writing again on the one I left behind three years ago…but writing about my day to day life in New York or San Francisco or DC seemed just so very ordinary.
I’ll be focusing here on development in Africa, and wherever else my travels may take me. And as a media — shall we say, enthusiast? — as someone who ends up documenting, writing about, recording, filming, and generally analyzing and mediating the world around them in the natural course of living, and thinking about others who do the same, I’ll be writing a fair amount about media here too. This is my current research – to know as much as I can about all the fascinating new developments in journalism, storytelling, communication, and information sharing that are happening here in Africa and throughout the developing world. And to think about how this relates to development as a practice.
I hope to write some fun stuff about elephants or whatever, too.
I’m not sure what else I’ll cover along the way, but initially I’m going to crosspost on www.mapkibera.org, a project I’m working on in Nairobi with Mikel Maron (who is my partner in most things). The project is to create a map with residents of Kibera, a massive slum in Nairobi, which will be freely available public data afterward, accessible through OpenStreetMap and elsewhere. The whole process of creating the map will be documented here, and also I’ll be looking for the intersections with development goals like empowerment, local ownership and participation, social change, access to resources, and whatever else comes up.