DigiBreak – Ethnographic Perspectives on Telecommunication Disruptions and Cyberattacks

Name of applicant

Mette Simonsen Abildgaard


Associate Professor


Aalborg University


DKK 4,999,263



Type of grant

Semper Ardens: Accelerate


DigiBreak redefines digital breakdowns, viewing them as everyday occurrences rather than crises requiring immediate solutions. We investigate how people experience and manage these breakdowns, observing their practices in digital periphery areas in Greenland and Denmark. The project offers key insights into how resilience and adaptability are fostered in highly digitised societies.


DigiBreak is essential because it delves into digital breakdowns in the face of rising security threats, especially in tech-reliant societies. By shifting the focus from just preventing risks to exploring what happens when things go wrong, we study how employees and citizens cope with and adapt to breakdowns, uncovering the hidden dynamics of instability and resilience in digital systems.


DigiBreak observes and interviews employees in small Danish businesses and citizens in satellite-dependent towns in Greenland, places which represent the periphery in Danish-Greenlandic digital systems. Additionally, we study authorities in both regions who provide digital breakdown guidance. Comparison between these sites offers practical and ethical insights into managing digital disruptions.

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