Dealing with Credits, Gambling with Data: Digital Piracy in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and Its Potential for Urban Labor Struggles in Digital Capitalism.
At the one hand, the phone credit sellers, online scammers and smartphone traders in Abidjan rely upon the multiplication of ID’s and recycling of numbers and data, which can be understood as techniques to re-insert themselves in circuits of wealth by hijacking logics of capital and conventions of work and exchange (Newell, 2012; König, 2014). At the same time, these ‘workers’ enable through their practices an infrastructure for ICT firms to diffuse their services and devices. These capitalize on the precarious workers’ labor and capital and make use of their social infrastructure as dwellers to increase benefits (Mann/Meagher, 2016). To reveal this tension is an important step to understanding workers’ struggles that take place beyond registers of legal rights and formal organization.