Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Digital warfare in the Sahel: popular networks of war and Cultural Violence

This interdisciplinary study focuses on (trans)national ethnic and popular networks, combining historical-ethnographic and computational methods to understand the ‘workings’ of networked conflict interfering in the increasingly violent conflict in the Sahel (Africa) and beyond. The project focuses on cultural violence—the legitimation of violence—spreads through (trans)regional networks, and discursive and ‘real’ warfare become entangled.

2023 - 2028
Mirjam de Bruijn

Voice4Thought, The Netherlands and Mali
CRASH (Center for Research in Anthropologie and the Humanities), Chad
Digital Humanities, Leiden University
Oslomet, Oslo, Norway

Bamako, camp of displaced people from Central Mali

The Sahel has become the scene of unprecedented violence since 2012: a period that coincides with the advancement of new ICTs in the region. The role of digital connectivity is both a uniting and disruptive factor in this networked warfare. This project investigates this relationship where it will focus especially on information flows on social media as a legitimation of direct violence, i.e. Cultural Violence.

Associate members:

Map: the research area and location of Fulani networks








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