Nikkei Asian Review | The Afghan Sneakernet
AFGHANISTAN'S 'SNEAKERNET' PROVIDES OFFLINE ACCESS TO DIGITAL CONTENT
In this print/online story for Nikkei Asian Review, I worked with ethnographer Eugenia Lee and a team of Kabul-based field researchers to explore Kabul’s offline markets of online content — i.e. the “sneakernet.”
The crowded central market of Kota-e-Sangi, in Kabul, is a place where you can buy anything -- fresh meat, fruit and vegetables; cheap goods from China and Pakistan; even an extra pair of hands from the day laborers who line the streets each morning.
In addition to physical goods, Kota-e-Sangi has become a central node for the "Sneakernet," the offline transfer of digital content -- games, TV shows, movies, music, apps and photographs -- that exists in locales around the world with scant access to the internet.
The article was the result of my ongoing exploration of how communities in Afghanistan were adapting technologies for their own purposes. See also: