Building Resistance Against Racist Digital Futures
A call for interventions
In the recent years, we have seen adramatic increase in everyday application of digital technologies in theworkplace, public services and everyday activities. They are presented to usthrough the lens of freedom and positive futurity – a freedom to live a‘comfortable life’, a freedom to ‘work flexibly’; a freedom to receive‘services’ efficiently. A freedom to embrace the digital future. At the sametime, we are witnessing an unprecedented rise in the use of those verytechnologies as tool of surveillance, censorship, and carceral control, servingcurrent regimes of ableism, classism, racism – and particularly anti-Blacknessand Islamophobia. ‘Big data’ is used for racial profiling; biometric scanners aredeployed in airports, universities and the labour market; algorithmicmanipulation and censorship are taking place under various ‘anti-terror’regulations; and social media content by activists, migrants and racialisedcommunities is monitored and criminalised. These and other forms oftechnological xeno-racist violence cannot be clearly attributed to either stateor corporate control, but rather, are increasingly about intersections betweenthe two. For example, private data firms are contracted by states to carry outracial profiling and Islamophobic surveillance; while digital giants such asGoogle or Facebook collaborate with governments to suppress anti-war onanti-colonial activism.
This edited collection aims to critically explore and contest thisintersection of the two phenomena, by deploying a combination of legal,activist, and academic perspective on digital violence and digital precarity. Weaim to counter the uncritical celebration of digital tools as unproblematic anddefault technologies of activism and insurgency. Equally, we aim to resist theappropriation of critical digital scholarship by governments, militaries andcorporations. We ask instead: How can we better understand the constantlyemerging new forms of digital violence? How can we develop forms of academic, legaland community self-defence against them? How do we equip individuals andcommunities, activists, teachers, students and legal workers, with tools tounderstand and resist carceral digital futures?
While attuned toforms of digital violence and precarity internationally, this edited collectionfocuses specifically on the UK contextand in particular upon PREVENT, Brexit, the anti-immigration “hostileenvironment” and the tightening regimes of policing and surveillance of Muslimand Black communities. We invite short contributions of up to 3-4,000 words, in the form of academicor personal essays, legal analysis, proposals, manifestos, calls for action, orother interventions. Topics may include but are not limited to
– The intersections between racism, ableism and digital technologies
– GDPR in the UK
– Digital policing and surveillance of migrants, refugees, Black, Muslim, PoC and other precarious subjects
– Digital data and racial profiling
– Social media platforms’ war on political dissent
– Racial and Islamophobic politics of biometrics
– The state’s collaboration with digital giants (such as Google, Amazon, Facebook)
– Securitisation and weaponisation of medical records
Please send abstracts of 300 words and a short bioto firstname.lastname@example.org by 16th of April 2018.
PublisherWeare currently exploring publishing venues that are non-profit and committed tosocial justice. We aim to have the print book as low price as possible, accompaniedby free/pay-as-you-can e-book.
Adi Kuntsman is Senior Lecturer in Information and Communicationsat Manchester Metropolitan University. Adi’s work explored queer and migranton-line communities; regional Internet cultures in the Middle East and Easternand Central Europe; hatred, conflict and memory in digital domains; digitalemotions; Israeli political violence and militarism on social media; and morerecently, the use of selfies in political actions; and data governance and thepolitics of ‘opting out’. Adi’s latest books include Digital Militarism: Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age (withRebecca L. Stein) Selfie Citizenship.
Sanaz Raji is an independent scholar and activist,campaigning for issues relating to neoliberal higher education, anti-racism,migrant rights, and the culture of surveillance. Sanaz established theJustice4Sanaz campaign three years ago and is the co-founded of Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) – a campaign designed to end monitoring and the hostile environmentpolicy against non-EU and EU migrants students and staff. She is apublished author and writer in the field of Iranian diaspora studies, criticalrace studies and social media. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, Tehran Bureau/PBS in addition to academic journals and books.
Patrick Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Criminologyat Manchester Metropolitan University and co-founder of Site of Resistance (www.sitesofresistance.org). His work is concerned with processes ofcriminalisation; the racialised Othering of minority communities andindividuals. In particular, Patrick’s researchis focused upon challenging invasive social and criminal regulation and the (over)policingof minority ethnic communities by revealing concealed and hidden strategies ofpunishment which disproportionately affect black communities. He is the co-author of DangerousAssociations: Joint Enterprise, Gangs and Racism for the Centre for Crime andJustice Studies.