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B04 - Digital Publics and Social Transformation in the Maghreb

SFB 1187 Medien der Kooperation

The research project focuses on media practices in Morocco and analyzes the emergence of new publics and forms of cooperation within the ongoing social transformation processes of North Africa. The project analyses the conditions for civil society cooperation in situations of change and aims to contribute both theoretically and practically to the differentiation of the concept of publicness as well as to the reflection of media-historical concepts of modernization.

The interdisciplinary connection of socio-informatics and social anthropology zooms in on the potential of digital media practices to create new possibilities for action, to generate consensus and dissent, and to mobilize new forms of publicness in this process. On the basis of the investigation of these processes in situ, the project aims to design, implement and evaluate socio-technical (infra-) structures.

In order to engage with these research questions, the project draws on a participatory approach and collaborative design and action research in addition to extensive (media) ethnographic field work: Together with local Moroccan actors, the NGO "Amezray SMNID", a socio-informatic intervention in the field of education and development policy was successfully launched in the High Atlas. This intervention achieves the situated training of media competencies in accordance with the ComputerClub concept, both locally and in transnational cooperation.

In an extended research perspective, the production of new media and data practices under different conditions in an intra-Moroccan and intercontinental comparison is now additionally brought into focus. Cooperative forms of fragmented (digital) publics are also taken into account transnationally within migration networks of the Moroccan diaspora to Germany. For this purpose, the connection to and the cooperative linking with another ComputerClub offer in Dortmund is an important component of the future research project.

The comparative research and design of appropriation practices and cooperative media takes into account the increasing differentiation of publicness in Euro-Mediterranean societies. 




Recent Publications


Laan ter, Nina. 2022. ““Assalamu alaykum, can we add this sister?” WhatsApp as an ethnographic research tool and a strategy of home-making among Dutch and Flemish muhajirat in Morocco.” Religion and Gender.

Rüller, Sarah; Aal, Konstantin; Tolmie, Peter; Hartmann, Andrea; Rohde, Markus and Wulff, Volker . 2022. “Speculative Design as a Collaborative Practice: Ameliorating the Consequences of Illiteracy through Digital Touch.” ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact 3 (29). https://doi.org/10.1145/3487917.

Simone, Carla; Wagner, Ina; Weibert, Anne; Müller, Claudia and Wulf, Volker. 2022. Making IT Sustainable: Challenges for practice-based research projects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wulf, Volker; Randall, Dave; Aal, Konstantin and Rohde, Markus. “The Personal is the Political: Internet filtering and Counter Appropriation in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

Zillinger, Martin, eds. 2022. “The rhythm of space. Stefan Czarnowski’s relational theory of the sacred.” In The Social origins of thought: Durkheim, Mauss and the Category Project, edited by Schick, Johannes; Schmidt, Mario and Zillinger, Martin . London: Berghahn.

Zillinger, Martin, Schick, Johannes and Schmidt, Mario. 2022. On the Social Origins of Thought. The Category Project of the Durkheim School. Oxford: Berghahn.


Laan ter, Nina. 2021. “They have no taste in Morocco. Home furnishing, belonging, and notions of religious (im)perfection among white Dutch and Flemish converts in Morocco.” Contemporary Islam 15: 57-82. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11562-021-00464-4.

Laan, ter Nina. 2021. “Musical negotiations of a ‘moderate’ versus a ‘radical’ Islam in Morocco: dissonance and the sonic among vocal performers of Islam-inspired music.” Religion 2 (51): 214-236. https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2021.1865602.

Weibert, Anne; Aal, Kontantin; Rohde, Markus and Wulf, Volker. 2021. “Scaling local experiences to global challenges: insights from grounded design and value sensitive design.” Ethics Inf Technol 23: 33–37 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10676-018-9470-8.

Wulf, Volker; Weibert, Anne; Aal, Konstantin; Rüller, Sarah and Rohde, Markus. 2021. “The Praxeological Research Programme of Socio-Informatics – the Siegen School.” Acta Informatica Pragensia 3 (10): 333-348.

van Es, Margaretha A.; Laan ter, Nina and Meinema, Erik. 2021. “Beyond ‘radical’ versus ‘moderate’? New perspectives on the politics of moderation in Muslim majority and Muslim minority settings,.” Religion 51 (2): 161-168. https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2021.1865616.