15/7/2017 - 15/7/2017

Big Data from the South (Cartagena, Colombia)


Critical scholarship has exposed how big data brings along new and opaque regimes of population management, control, and discrimination. Building on this scholarship, this pre-conference engages in a dialogue with traditions that critique the dominance of Western approaches to datafication that do not recognize the diversity of the Global South. Moving from datafication to data activism, this event will examine the diverse ways through which citizens and the organized civil society in the Global South engage in bottom-up data practices for social change as well as resistance to “dark” uses of big data that increase oppression and inequality.

This pre-conference aims at interrogating the specific politics, specificities and peculiarities of data activism in the Global South, with emphasis on Latin American practices and on cross-South and North/South comparative perspectives. It will address a number of questions, including

  • Does the availability of data bring novel opportunities to the Global South? How do activists take advantage of big data for social justice advocacy? What initiatives and actors ask for the release of data?
  • What negative consequences of datification are activists and organizations facing in the Global South ? What practices of resistance emerge?
  • What frames of reference, imaginaries, and culture do people mobilize in relation to big data and massive data collection?
  • Which coceptual and methodological frameworks are best suited to capture the complexity and the peculiarities of data activism in the Global South?
  • Which alternative understandings and epistemologies could help us to better address the contested terrain of data power and activism in the Global South, and Latin America in particular?

Find out more on the event page here.

Image: luckey_sun.