Public talk by Elisa Oreglia (King’s College London)

In recent years, small networks of traders have started to bring cheap, China-made smartphones to low- and middle-income consumers in the Global South. While this has made smartphones accessible to a population that would not be able to afford them otherwise, it has also brought a series of challenges due to the quality and features of the handsets, their language support, etc. Drawing from ethnographic research carried out in Myanmar since 2014, this talk will focus on the experiences of first-time Internet users in semi-urban and rural areas in Myanmar, and their challenges in accessing an internet that can look very different from the one we take for granted. I will discuss what it means to experience the Internet through apps, rather than through a browser; to use a mobile phone while constantly facing obstacles related to infrastructure, cost, connectivity, etc; and reflect on what lessons can be drawn for human-computer interaction and interface design for marginal populations.


Elisa Oreglia is a lecturer in Global Digital Cultures in the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London. Her research is about the diffusion, appropriation, and use of digital technologies among marginal communities in East and Southeast Asia.


Date and time

Wed 30 May 2018
16:30 – 18:00


S0.13, Strand Building
Strand Campus, King’s College London

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