Good Neighbours

Research Project, Amsterdam | Johannesburg (2019-ongoing)

Good Neighbours is a project about intimate surveillance and the micro-politics of urban space. Based on extensive research about WhatsApp neighbourhood-watch groups in Johannesburg and Amsterdam, the project explores how communities create spaces of belonging and alienation through messaging platforms. Humorous and unsettling, Good Neighbours utilizes interactive documentary, immersive experiences, open-access publications and public workshops to ask urgent questions about community-making in a time of heightened xenophobia and othering.

Key research questions are…

How do fear, paranoia and prejudice circulate in communities through mobile technology?

How are ‘our’ spaces claimed or reclaimed through technology?

What are the politics of mobility in neighbourhoods?

Good Neighbours began in September 2019 at the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival in Johannesburg. The chat-bot documentary, immersive experience and public workshop will be presented to audiences in late 2020. Good Neighbours is created in partnership with the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam) and supported by the City of Amsterdam, the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

www.goodneighbours.net

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WhatsApp in Amsterdam
Photo copyright Antal Guszlev
Research phase: a performance at Fak’ugesi festival, Johannesburg, Sept 2019
Research phase: a performance at Fak’ugesi festival, Johannesburg, Sept 2019