“Social Media – Social Revolts” at University of Lüneburg

(Reposted from nettime)

Public Event: »Social Media – Social Revolts?«

Critical perspectives on the uses of web and media networks by recent social movements // ‘Digital Governance // Experiences, insights and consequences from the ‘Arab Spring’ and the ‘Blackberry Riots’

(This event will be held in English – with German translation)

Tuesday 15 November 2011, 20:00
Hoersaal 5, Scharnhorststrasse 1, D-21335 Lueneburg

Organised in conjunction with the workshop »does not compute – building a post-media lab«

In association with Moving Image Lab, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Kunstraum Lueneburg & Mute

Panel Discussion with:
Graham Harwood (Media artist, Southend-on-Sea, London)
Anne Roth (Journalist and Blogger, Berlin)
Aalam Wassef (Blogger, Media-artist and -activist, Paris/Cairo)

Some describe the uprisings that swept across Egypt and other Arab and North African countries as the ‘Facebook revolution’; some are calling the riots that convulsed England this August the ‘Blackberry Riots’. More considered commentators cast doubt on the notion that social media were decisive in producing this cycle of unrest. What is certain, however, is that social media – from Twitter to Facebook, YouTube to Internet blogs as well as the availability of ‘smart’ mobile phones – have changed the forms of social contact, as well as the reach of social movements. It is also certain that social media itself has become an ever greater part of the discussion about national and international borders, social organisation, basic rights and democracy.

In this context the export of network-monitoring softwares like ‘Finfisher’, co-produced in Germany, to countries such as Egypt is more than just another instance of the commodification of ‘security’ and often repression. It is also the symptom of a wider ethical and democratic crisis relating to the definition of private and public spheres, the new ‘nature’ of communication, the juridical presumption of innocence, and even the politically contested concept of ‘citizenship’ or ‘corporate social responsibility’.

Since the materiality, codes of conduct and practical activity comprising public and private life have been so radically transformed by digital networks, we need to step back and reconsider which foundational conceptions of democracy still apply. This event will strive to reach a more global understanding of these issues by drawing together a series of partial and local perspectives and embedding the discussion of politics into real conditions.

Contact:
Clemens Apprich: clemens.apprich@leuphana.de
Oliver Lerone Schultz: oliver_lerone.schultz@leuphana.de

Kunstraum Leuphana University of Lueneburg

http://www.uni-lueneburg.de/interarchiv/index.html

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