re:publica 2017 roundup

  • 12th May 2017

by Nicole Shephard

The 2017 edition of popular digital culture conference re:publica took place 8-10 May in Berlin. This year’s motto was “Love Out Loud!”, and topics around digital diversity and inclusion are given center stage. After following re:publica virtually for the past couple of years, 2017 marks my first in-person attendance.

I’d like to highlight a few talks that resonated with an (or rather with my) intersectional perspective on the politics of data. Not all of them make explicit reference to intersectionality, or even to gender, race or sexuality. But taken together, they provide valuable insights to anyone who cares to look at tech and data intersectionally.

Disclaimer: this selection is limited to talks I’ve actually seen, with apologies to all the other gems I have likely missed.

Emotional Trauma, Machine Learning and the Internet

Known for her extensinve work around online harassment, Caroline Sinders delivered a highly recommended talk about emotional labour and machine learning. With a strong focus on user agency, she asks how design affects behaviour, and explores ways to effectively design against online harassment.

Your Body is a Honeypot: Loving Out Loud When There’s No Place to Hide

Jillian York and Matthew Stender explore what it means to love out loud in a time of ubiquitous surveillance. What happens to our sense of self and agency over our body while being gendered, racialised and sexualised modes between government control and surveillance capitalism?

Filter Bubbles, Fake News and Digital Publics

Original title: “Was wir wirklich über Filterblasen, Fake-News und die digitale Öffentlichkeit wissen“.
Christian Stöcker and Konrad Lischka provide empirical insights into what we do and don’t know about filter bubbles, fake news and digital public spheres. A live dubbed English version of the talk is available here.

An additional shout out goes to

Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Thomas Lohninger, Cathleen Berger and Renata Avila with “Digital Equality: how an open Web can contribute to a more Equal world?” for their discussion panel on the role of net neutrality, digital literacy, gender equality, and diverse (and accessible) content for digital equality.

Matt Mitchell with “Surveillance & Black Bodies in the United States: Bridging the Digital Security Divide” [no recording available] for an excellent historical roundup of how surveillance disproportionately affects marginalised groups.

Love out Loud, re:publica 2017


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