What are the strategies for a more decolonised technology?

On May 3rd we organised the last of the workshops corresponding to the Tools for the decolonisation of technology line of work. In the session Strategies for a more decolonised technology we tried to imagine what various aspects of our relationship with technology would be like. We talked about how to create new concepts that define the future we want to live and share, but also about re-signifying existing ones.

La sessió es va centrar, a més, en estratègies d’acompanyament perquè grups i col·lectius de la socieThe session also focused on strategies for accompanying civil society groups and collectives so that they can adopt digital and anti-racist perspectives from their sphere of action. To this end, we proposed that:

  • Spaces of trust and care must be created prior to the digitalisation process. 
  • An environment must be ensured in which to share doubts, produce a common and accessible vocabulary and generate a sense of belonging.
  • Creating a roadmap and implementing it implies having a medium to long term vision that must be constantly reviewed for continuous improvement.

Finally, we wanted to bring to the table the urgency of the change that needs to be made in today’s technology. Understanding the why and the importance of change is essential for people with different backgrounds to feel appealed. It will also make them want to be part of innovative processes of designing alternatives that can serve as an umbrella for more groups and communities to collaborate together.

Final reflections

As always, at the end of the presentation on strategies for a more decolonised technology, we opened a space for debate to hear opinions and requests from the audience. 

There were those who wanted to recall the origins of decolonisation, which respond to the struggles of oppressed and colonised peoples, and it was reminded that the tools and knowledge acquired in that struggle should not be forgotten or erased. This request arose from a discussion of the different definitions that the concept of ‘decolonising’ can take on depending on who you ask and what experiences that person has had.

In terms of data collection, which is always a controversial issue, two issues were raised. First, there is a lack of data on the presence of women in the digital and decolonial sphere. The lack of representativeness and intersectionality, and the gender gap that exists in this area as well. 

Secondly, that data collection (whether massive or not) never affects different collectives equally. There are people or communities who defend data collection in order to demonstrate that they suffer persecution and racism, and others who reject it because they consider that it stigmatises them even more. In this sense, questions arose such as:

  • Why does the word not carry the same weight as a statistic or data? 
  • Why do we sometimes disbelieve the experiences of collectives if there is no data to back them up?

Finally, the dichotomy of anti-racist and decolonial movements using social media to make themselves visible was discussed. On the one hand, they are a platform to reach thousands of people and deliver powerful messages. On the other hand, assuming that these platforms and channels carry risks by accepting the terms of use and the lack of transparency about the data they collect. 

During the final debate, it was clear that there is a need to build bridges between the digital world and anti-racist movements. What do you think?

If you are interested in these issues and want to take action, the next meeting will be at JornadasDAR, which will be held on 26, 27 and 28 May in online format and face-to-face in Barcelona and Madrid respectively. You can register here!

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