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Where Does Your Mobile Phone Come From?’

Click here to download PDF version.

 

IT IS IN EVERYDAY USE GLOBALLY BUT, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

 

‘Where Does Your Mobile Phone Come From?’ is an exploration of global connections in the history and contemporary production of mobile phone technology. Using the medium of a small-scale digital interactive, the programme aims to help you learn about, and explore, the connections these devices have with technological and social landscapes across many parts of the globe.

 


The first 91 elements occur in nature, plus a few others, bringing the total to 98 natural elements. Digital Art/Getty Images

 

It is believed that there are 98 natural elements which make up everything and approximately 31 of these are used in mobile phone technology.

 

We looked in particular at elements sourced from areas of conflict across the world:

 

Name

Abbreviation

Atomic number

Tantalum

Ta

73

Gold

Au

79

Tin

Sn

50

Tungsten

W

74

 

As well as those under serious threat:

 

Name

Abbreviation

Atomic number

Arsenic

As

33

Silver

Ag

47

Indium

In

49

Yttrium

Y

39

 

We identified the origin of the element, its geographical location(s), the mining process and the effect of this excavation on humans, animals and the environment.

 

The results are certainly worth reading, understanding and sharing. It offers a sense of the global connections and interconnectedness of this technology and the woeful harm being caused to humans, wildlife and the environment.

 

We invite you to engage with the project outcomes and explore where your mobile phone really comes from.

 

Acknowledgements:

 

The Race Equality Centre

 

University of Leicester

School of Museum Studies and, Division of Library, Learning and Information Services

 

Digital Interactive developed by

Xiaoqian Zhang

Aka Terri

 

Researcher

Haiyun Zhang

Aka Annie

 

Project Manager

Jas Obhi