At the Crossroads: The Digital Rights Movement in Times of Data Coloniality

Speaker: Dr Sebastián Lehuedé

In recent years, researchers and activists have denounced the complicity of data-intensive technologies with the asymmetries that emerged in parallel with European colonialism. Dynamics of economic dispossession and the undermining of alternative ways of thinking are part of the phenomenon of ‘data coloniality’.

Sebastián’s talk addresses relevant questions regarding resistance under data coloniality, asking who should carry out this process and how. When looking at the field of activism, the current conjuncture encompasses a turning point for the digital rights movement. To counter data coloniality, this movement would need to incorporate rights, actors and societal horizons that have not been central in its struggle. Fortunately, changes taking place in regions such as Latin America offer a hope, although the risk of co-optation shall not be undermined.

Sebastián recently joined the Centre of Governance and Human Rights as a postdoctoral research scholar. This talk will draw upon his previous research on astronomy data in Chile and discuss preliminary insights from the project that he is developing at CGHR.