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Street Ethnographers

( via smartmobs )

Francois Bar, who has been doing fascinating work with Francis Pisani on appropriation of phone technology, reports on Sao Paolo’s “motoboy ethnographers.”

Earlier this year, 12 motorcycle couriers in São Paulo started using camera-phones to chronicle their daily lives. They get together periodically to discuss each other’s finds and decide collectively what stories they want to cover. The result is Canal*MOTOBOY, a real-time account of life on the Paulista streets. This is part of “Colectivos transmiten desde teléfonos moviles” at zexe.net, and the motoboys are simply the latest addition to a growing network of “citizen ethnographers”. They join 17 taxi drivers in Mexico City, 25 young gitanos in Leida, and 16 in Leon, 10 prostitutes in Madrid, 40 people with disabilities in Barcelona, and 19 immigrants from Nicaragua in Costa Rica.

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Filed under: ethnography, research, urban

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