Von Schnitzler, Antina. 2013. “TRAVELING TECHNOLOGIES: Infrastructure, Ethical Regimes, and the Materiality of Politics in South Africa: TRAVELING TECHNOLOGIES.” Cultural Anthropology 28 (4): 670–93.

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August 15, 2018

Critical Commentary

AO: This 2013 article by Antina von Schnitzler looks at how technology itself becomes a political terrain, tracking cycles of innovation and

subversion related to prepaid meters that measure and (dis)connect networked services (esp. electricity or water). She tracks how the pre-paid meter traveled from the UK to South Africa and focuses on the micro techno-politics in the SA township contexts. She notes that the breaking and rewiring of the prepayment devices by local residents (and the constant innovation by engineers that is required as a result) should be analyzes as an unusual terrain where political negotiations are carried out.