Welcome to Geomedia, Henrik Bergius2023-03-13
Henrik, you recently began your doctoral studies in Geomedia at Karlstad University. Tell us about your background.
- I have a Master’s in cultural studies from the University of Gothenburg and an interdisciplinary background in humanities with a great interest in culture and social policy issues. I’m interested in the way geomedia affects society and culture, and the spatial aspects of media.
Tell us about your research project
- The idea is to focus on digital exclusion in public transport. I will look at what happens to public infrastructure through digitalisation and how the population’s access to public funds, such as urban space, is affected. The opportunity to work with digitality and democratic issues in this field is the reason why I applied to Geomedia at Karlstad University.
My research project is partly an interview study where I will talk to people who don’t use smart phones and discuss how they use public transport and search for information. It is also an ethnographic study where I will explore public transport as a passenger and travel by bus here in Karlstad and study how buses are designed and adapted for digitalised mechanisms and smart phones. Since I don’t use a smart phone myself, it is also a bit of an auto-ethnographic study where I will be looking at what it is like for me as a newcomer here in Karlstad and the ways in which I can get around the city without a map or internet on my mobile.
It is a stark contrast to do research in geomedia and at the same time not use a smart phone
- Non-use, post-digitality and digitox are exciting topics. Smart phones are present in all our lives, but they are not the only media available. We might overlook other media because of them. As a newcomer here in Karlstad, I encounter obstacles such as the fact that there are no printed city maps available. Smart phones are displacing other forms of media. That interests me.
What made you choose Karlstad University for your doctoral studies?
- The fact that the university has a dedicated centre for geomedia - as an explicit interdisciplinary research area - was inspiring, since I have a strong interdisciplinary background myself. Seeing that resources are being put into building bridges between subjects and having the opportunity to be a part of that is what attracted me to Karlstad University. If you look at geomedia as a field of research, there are also many prominent researchers in the field who work at Karlstad University. Being a part of that tradition and creative environment seemed exciting and inspiring. I’m hoping to receive a lot of support when it comes to the theoretical work required when you have a very specific research topic. At Karlstad University, there are people who are very interested in these issues.