HAU

"May it never end": Price wars, networks, and temporality in the "3 Ts" mining trade of the Eastern DR Congo

James H. Smith

Abstract


In this article, I examine some of the ways in which artisanal mining communities in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo experience digital age capitalism. I show how an extractive economy in tantalum, tin, and tungsten (referred to in NGO circles as the "3 Ts") shapes experiences and understandings of space, time, and value. Making use of oral narratives and other ethnographic data, I focus on the interconnections among time and price, as well as the war over price in an extractive economy characterized by great temporal uncertainty and rupture.


Keywords


artisanal mining, price and price wars, value, temporality, digital age, Democratic Republic of Congo, infrastructure

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau5.1.002