Computing in/from the south call for papers


#1

@befree @arianestolfi @how @efee

I’m responding to this call any interst in doing this together?


“Computing in/from the South”

Edited by Sareeta Amrute and Luis Felipe R. Murillo
Afterword by Kavita Philip and Anusuya Sengupta

A Special Section of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience

Computer expertise involves technical competence, infrastructures,
interdependent economies, and distinctive political projects. Yet, most
often, computing is examined from Silicon Valley outwards. In this
special issue, we reverse this polarity by asking, what does computing
expertise as political action look like from the South? Following on
John and Jean’s Comaroff’s Theory from the South (2014), the emergent
literature on the “Globalization from below” (Alba, Lins Ribeiro,
Matthews, Vega, 2015), and feminist approaches to technoscience that
stress entanglements between bodies and materials (Barad 2007, Haraway
1991, Chun 2013) and the political and economic formations such
entanglements may yield (Suchman 2015, Atanasoski and Vora 2015,
McGlotten 2016), these articles investigate what it means to
re-territorialize and prefigure technopolitical projects outside the
main axes of digital work.

Journalistic and other professional accounts of computing have helped to
create a reified depiction of an undifferentiated expert community along
class, gender, ethnicity, religion, and other socioeconomic dimensions.
Ethnographic work has contributed a different picture through the
examination of the liberal roots of various Free and Open Source
communities (Coleman 2012; Kelty 2008; Leach 2009) and by looking at the
labor of “other” experts beyond the metropolitan centers (Philip, Irani,
and Dourish 2012; Takhteyev 2012; Chan 2013; Amrute 2016). This special
section explores distinctive manifestations of technical politics in the
Global South, understood as a position in unfolding sociotechnical
relationships as much as a geopolitical location. Through computer
experts’ work and technopolitical imaginaries we ask, how might new
political forms incorporate the market logics of competitiveness,
agility, autonomy, and risk while contending with non-liberal and, at
times, anti-capitalistic dispositions? How does shifting the dominant
perspectives on computing afford an alternate view of progress and
future societies? How do models of technical innovation become tied to
state practices, public policies, expert community-building, and the
everyday labor of embodied technical work? How do practitioners ‘of the
South’ pursue feminist and queer, anti-gentrification and
free/open-source projects that might both yield viable substitute models
and intensify relations of debt and inequality for, and crucially,
within, the South?

We welcome articles that investigate computing from the standpoint of
the South — that is, from a standpoint that begins with conditions of
life outside the presumed model of computing in Silicon Valley and other
hegemonic Euro-American centers of IT development— to bring into the
purview of sociotechnical analyses computing problems of innovation and
extraction, expertise and labor, development and precarity across race,
ethnicity, gender, ability, cultural capital, and class.

Contributors might use this opportunity to examine how practices of
computing are linked to nation-making through promissory strategies
(Patel 2015), how computing from the South re-configures expert models
and infrastructures across political locations, and how practices of
refusal make their way into current imaginaries of computing (Pilar
2016, cardenas 2015). Drawing from varied modes of technical and
political engagement, articles may engage phenomena ordinarily broken up
into disciplinary topics (moral and political economy, labor, gender,
virtuality, data infrastructures, finance, discourse, political
institutions, space and place-making, globalization, embodiment, and so
on) and consider how they are held together, bracketed, obscured and
transformed in computing practices. For our purposes, we seek to
maintain a critical and transdisciplinary approach to the study of
informational capitalism that can be amplified precisely by starting
with an analysis of, and from, the South.

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE

We welcome abstracts (max. 500 words) by June 15th. By September 30th,
we will request a complete submission (max. 8.000 words) to be sent for
peer-review. The volume has no disciplinary focus: we welcome
contributions from anthropology, history, sociology, computer science
(HCI, CSCW), Science and Technology Studies (STS), etc.

To send us your contribution, write to ‘unixjazz@riseup.net’ and
‘amrutes@uw.edu’ with the following subject line: “Article for Catalyst:
Computing in/from the South”.

REFERENCES

Alba Vega, Carlos; Gustavo Lins Ribeiro; Gordon Mathews and Mario A.
Zamudio Vega. 2015. La globalización desde Abajo. La Otra Economía
mundial. Cuidad de Mexico: Fondo de Cultura.

Amrute, Sareeta. 2016. Encoding Race Encoding Class: Indian IT Workers
in Berlin. Durham: Duke University Press.

Atanasoski, Neda and Vora, Kalindi 2015. “Surrogate Humanity: Posthuman
Networks and the (Racialized) Obsolescence of Labor” Catalyst: Feminism,
Theory, Technoscience. 1(1):1-40.

Barad, Karen Michelle. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum
Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning.

cardenas, micha 2015. “Shifting Futures: Digital Trans of Color Praxis”
Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology.

Chan, Anita. 2013. Networking peripheries: technological futures and the
myth of digital universalism. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. 2013. Programmed Visions: Software and Memory.
Boston: The MIT Press.

Coleman, Gabriella. 2012. Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of
Hacking. Princeton University Press.

Comaroff, Jean, and John L. Comaroff. 2014. Theory from the South, Or,
How Euro-America Is Evolving toward Africa. Boulder, CO: Paradigm
Publishers.

Haraway, Donna. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of
Nature. New York: Routledge.

Kelty, Christopher. 2008. Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free
Software. Durham: Duke University Press.

Leach, James. 2009. “Freedom Imagined: Morality and Aesthetics in Open
Source Software Design.” In: Ethnos, 74 (1): 51–71.

McGlotten, Shaka 2016. “Black Data” The Scholar and Feminist Online.
Traversing Technologies, Special Issue. Edited by Patrick Kellty and
Leslie Regan Shade. 13.3-14.1.

Patel, Geeta 2015. “Seeding Debt: Alchemy, Death, and the Precarious
Farming of Life-Finance in the Global South” Cultural Critique 89:1-37.

Pilar, Praba 2016. “Enigma Symbiotica” The Scholar and Feminist Online.
Traversing Technologies, Special Issue. Edited by Patrick Kellty and
Leslie Regan Shade. 13.3-14.1.

Suchman, Lucy 2015 “Situational Awareness: Deadly Bioconvergence at the
Boundaries of Bodies and Machines” MediaTropes 5(1):1-24.

Takhteyev, Yuri. 2012. Coding Places: Software Practice in a South
American City. Cambridge: MIT Press.


Baobáxia - The Road of Baobabs
#2

Abstract proposal

Current technology is largely promoted by an infrastructure stuck in a monolithic discursive bubble of automation based on measurement and discretisation (Antoinette Rouvroy) which consequences are as we know it deterritorialisation (Amrute) of work, destruction of solidarity networks, extractivism, and the promotion of occidental military agenda.
"To engage in these continued research efforts requires an expansion of our definitions of white supremacy to include how global flows of capital from US corporations and Silicon Valley structure labor markets and material infrastructures that are part of an oppressive system of digital technological engagements, largely hidden from view in the consumerist model of technology adoption. "

Positioning oneself is the first necessary step to take in not relying on North and South as seemingly empty signifiers, but embrassing the full scope of the situation from a history of economic domination. Confronting the destruction of cultural practices as they are fed into the productivist agenda.
However a Feminist Epistemology considers necessary principles of intra-action (Barad) looking for Apparatuses that are conceived in situation opening ways for contextual interaction. This article will focus on “knowledges” brought by otherwise left behind social groups not necessarily coming from a minority, but often exist under several axis of oppression, which explains their non consideration, as they might form a divergent viewpoint.
I will here take an subjective position in choosing to bring forward the specificities of underepresented media projects, that have been developped by and for specific communities. Rather then examining southern based projects that exist in relation to the dominant model, as Yuri Takhteyev, has explained, this article will expand on difference within the system. This analysis will present the history of important peculiar projects in free software that built infrastructure for specific comunities in Brazil, and work to understand the horizontal and emergmerging spaces they have help to build, within capitalist society. The analysis will start from presenting “Metarecyclagem” where Felipe Fonseca and others have fostered Gambiarra and HiperTropicalProgramacao throughout an important number of independant social and creative groups all over the country. And continue with Baobaxia free software eventually connected network developed to share and preserve the cultural heritage of the remaining afrobrazilian communities. A infrastructure for the Mocambos Network, among them one very specific appropriation through Tecnoxamanism has given rise to a important number of events and performances accross Brazil and Europe.
However as difficulties as political context transforms, in this paper I will also focus not only on relating from the exterior about a southern situation, but also propose to continue an intersectional observation from north to south. Relying on activism and speculative narration to conduct our messages, dealing in solidarity from north to south, sharing experiences language, strategies forming systers networks, on the model of WoC hackers:

"A power fantasy of the oppressed, we subvert traditionally-white-American-centered dystopian narratives by placing WoC hackers as superheroes willing to risk it all for solidarity (our vision of utopia)
Hackers of Resistance (2018).

References:

Barad, Karen. (2007). ‘Meeting the universe halfway: quantum physics and the entanglement of
matter and meaning.’ Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822339175…
Braidotti, Rosi. Bio-Power and Necro-Politics, Reflections on an ethics of sustainability
https://www.springerin.at/en/2007/2/biomacht-und-nekro-politik/
Published as : (2007)‘Biomacht und nekro-Politik. Uberlegungen zu einer Ethik der
Nachhaltigkeit’, in: Springerin, Hefte fur Gegenwartskunst, Band XIII Heft 2,
Fruhjahr , pp 18-23

Fonseca, Felipe. Reconhecimento e superação da exploração capitalista em redes criativas de colaboração e produção Liinc em Revista, Rio de Janeiro, v.12, n.1, p. 25-39, maio 2016, http://www.ibict.br/liinc http://dx.doi.org/10.18617/liinc.v12i1.86125

Hackers of Resistance (2018). “h0rd14r13z” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No. 13. 10.5399/uo/ada.2018.13.6

Rouvroy, Antoinette & Berns, Thomas. (2013). ‘Gouvernementalité algorithmique et perspectives
d’émancipation’, Réseaux, no 177, p 163 .

Takhteyev, Yuri. 2012. Coding Places: Software Practice in a South
American City. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Toupin, Sophie & Spideralex (2018). “Radical Feminist Storytelling and Speculative Fiction: Creating new worlds by re-imagining hacking.” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No. 13. 10.5399/uo/ada.2018.13.1

Umoja Noble, Safiya. “A Future for Intersectional Black Feminist Technology Studies” The Scholar and Feminist Online.Traversing Technologies, Special Issue. Edited by Patrick Kellty and
Leslie Regan Shade. 13.3-14.1.


#3

This is very interesting, Natacha! I’m going to be away for the weekend, but I might have a look at it next week if it’s not too late.


#4

Deadline for abstracts in June 15!


#5

@arianestolfi

Did you receive my message inviting for writing toguether a paper for the catalyst journal Called: Computing in/from the south.
Because you did not answer and the deadline was coming close, I sent an abstract, now Luis Felipe comes back to me asking for some rewriting, to present it in a more academic format. Wich I would real be happy to do, even more if I can do it in collaboration… Are you still not interested?


#6

REvised Abstract proposal

Group history research object

Baobaxia, “a rota os Baobas” is an eventually connected network formed by a number of Mucuas (nodes) located in over 200 communities of the Mocambos network.
Baobaxia has been formed in the years 2004 in Brazil building Mucuas in a “digital land where culture may grow” assembling material and sharing information in the Quilombos.
My experience with the Baobaxia project comes from an active implication with the Bricolabs group in europe since the beginning of the 2000, its strong ties with Brazil, supporting community originated networks. As Baobaxia has developed further European ties, Petites Singularités is hosting one of the three European Mucuas.

  • research problematic
    Brazil is a fertile territory where a unique discourse characterises community and independant technological projects. Both the development of the language and of the networks are largely understudied, hidding the benefice of these aparatuses to a broader understanding of decentralized network, intersectional and anticolonial studies.

  • method
    A Feminist Epistemology considers necessary principles of intra-action (Barad) looking for apparatuses that are conceived in situation opening ways for contextual interaction. This article will focus on “knowledges” brought by otherwise left behind social groups who often exist under several axis of oppression, which explains their non consideration, as they might form a divergent viewpoint within, allowing for the construction of different organisations and informations preserved in their community,
    Working from a necessary distance the research will still build from direct implication of its authors who have actively contributed to the implementation of baobaxia, the study is equally nourished by interviews and interactions made by Petites singularités.
    This analysis pursues the third technoscape research led since 2017 by Petites Singularités "Singular technologies and the third technoscape"JOPP (Journal of Peer production)#11 city, 2018. Highlighting the importance of minorised technological practice that convey integrative organisational models, responding to capitalist hegemony.

  • theory
    I will here take a subjective position in choosing to bring forward the specificities of underepresented media projects, that have been developped by and for specific communities. Rather then examining southern based projects that exist in relation to the dominant model, as Yuri Takhteyev, has explained, this article will expand on difference within the system. This analysis will present the history of important peculiar projects in free software that built infrastructure for specific comunities in Brazil, and work to understand the horizontal and emergmerging spaces they have help to build, within capitalist society.


Catalyst journal for feminist studies
#7

Thanks, Natacha, that’s a really interesting abstract and research project! The fascinating thing about Baobáxia is that working with it drags so many things with it, the cultural contexts in which it was born, the interaction between free software and social movements in Brazil, the interaction between technology and traditional knowledge as it exists in the quilombos, etc. Looking forward to hear more.


#8

Sorry Natacha,

I saw the e-mail, but I didn’t understand the invitation, I didn’t had much time to work on baobaxia lately, though.
I could help you a bit with the contex, if you need some help for that. How are you plannig to write this, can we use overleaf or something?

I’m a bit in a rush with some other deadlines, so I can’t do too much, but untill september I may have some time, and Carten should come to Brasil soon also.

I’m working a lot on playsound.space project for my phd and may go to Berlin to present it on the end of september

:*

ariane


#9

Hey @arianestolfi,

If not to late If youre interested and aggree with the abstract, maybe you can make a few corrections, and/or add references to Technxamanism, and we can co-sign it and refine together later.
The editors are waiting for a new version of the abstract on July 10th and I think it is important that article presenting those movements exist, that they get referenced in as many journals as possible, and I do not feel entitled to do this on my own.

Hey @agger,

Thanks for your interest and answer, I fully aggree with your point, the call comes from a feminist review, and I think community practice and feminist theory have a lot to do together, as they bothe address intersectional problematics and develop unique tools useful to the minorised part of the population, but that deserve to be understood better, such as baobaxia. This is the scope I want to take to answer this call.
Your contributions are welcome.

Heart
Natacha


#10

QUESTIONNAIRE ABOUT TECHNOSHAMANISM.pdf (240.2 KB)

here is the interview we didi about the tecnoshamanism network in english and here in portuguese:

https://portalseer.ufba.br/index.php/metamorfose/article/view/24081/16950?fbclid=IwAR1EfrGrtSQQGFRFLGUCqCtq6Ht4_Dl4hJwZj-fPEEOiMJcDy2lbBFfgSEY


#11

practical guide for security of females on internetguia-pratica-seguranca-cfemea.pdf (3.0 MB)


#12

yeah of course i know this, from spider alex…
This is also useful : https://en.gendersec.train.tacticaltech.org/


#13

Revised Abstract

In the context of current political situation in Brazil, this article cannot confine itself in an analysis of resistance networks but their authors wish their work engages more clearly with the necessity that has arised during recent Brazilian election where usage of fake news and media manipiulation was demonstrated several time, and where many resistance network emerging from women organisations have been actively silenced, we need this article to contribute to "develop the grassroots power and broad social vision that might make real change? " in a process of “globalization from below.”

Title: A feminist methodology to understand Free software territory: the
“Technoxamanismo” and “Baobaxia” network in Brazil

Abstract:
This article will discuss the process of building Free Software-based digital infrastructures for communities in the Northeast of Brazil. In the context of the misuse of centralised social networks during latest brazilian elections[1], and the resistence from feminist networks, we will support and follow the Brazilian movement Technoxamanism, and along with them, we will present them as networks are to be understood as strategies to take back the future [2]

First, we will focus on the project Baobáxia, “a rota os Baobas” an “eventually connected network” composed of a number of “Mucuas” (nodes) located in over 200 communities of the Mocambos, a network of Brazilian quilombos (freed slave communities). We will provide the background of the network and characterize their unique discourse as both the development of the language and of the networks are largely understudied, hidding the benefice of these
aparatuses to a broader understanding of decentralized network, intersectional and anticolonial studies, as a situated model of resistance.

Then, we will proceed to explore its intersections with other projects
for alternative computing in the country, such as “metarecyclagem” where
a group of Brazilian technologists and artists have been promoting the
“up-cycling” of computing technologies and their usage for artistic
expression through regular “Gambiarra” (translated as “makeshift”) and
“HiperTropicalProgramacao” events alongside several independent
technical and political collectives in the country. Another political
articulation of the reflection on the appropriation of digital
technologies has given rise to practises which are identified by local
activists and artists as “technoshamanism.”

We describe the work we conducted in the context of Baobáxia through a
series of interviews and direct participation in the activities of the
network, exploring their specificity vis-à-vis activist networks in
Europe where we are also implicated, such as the experience of bricolabs
which have been active for the past 18 years.

The research problem we will explore has to do with question of the role
and place of digital activism in the Brazilian context, and how a “third
technoscape” emerges from an anti-colonial position and cultural
narrative reappropriation, leading to the invention of “singular
technologies”. We will focus on how local “knowledges” of oppressed
Brazilian groups are translated into the formation of computer networks
and technologies that create infrastructure for Afrobrazilian communities.

Brazil is a fertile territory for new forms of technopolitics which can
be actualized by debates in intersectional and post- / anti-colonial
studies. Working from a necessary distance, the article will examine the
experience of direct implication of the authors. The analysis we pursue
highlights the importance of minorised technological practice that
convey integral organisational models opposing capitalist hegemony. In
order to frame our research problem, we will mobilize a feminist
epistemology which considers necessary principles of “intra-action”
(Barad 2007) across heterogeneous sociotechnical spaces.

Notes:
1- Caio Machado, Beatriz Kira, Gustavo Hirsch, Nahema Marchal, Bence Kollanyi, Philip N. Howard, Thomas Lederer, and Vlad Barash. “News and Political Information Consumption in Brazil: Mapping the First Round of the 2018 Brazilian Presidential Election on Twitter.” Data Memo 2018.4. Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda. comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk

2- “base de criação de conceitos, e ainda de práticas transversais, que tenta recuperar ideias de futuro perdidas no passado, #takebackthefuture.” Questionario sobre el technoxamanismo Revista Metamorfose, vol. 3, n. 1, set. de 2018, 104-120 https://tecnoxamanismo.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/questionnaire-about-technoshamanism/

References

Barad, Karen. (2007). ‘Meeting the universe halfway: quantum physics and
the entanglement of
matter and meaning.’ Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN
9780822339175

Braidotti, Rosi. Bio-Power and Necro-Politics, Reflections on an ethics
of sustainability
https://www.springerin.at/en/2007/2/biomacht-und-nekro-politik/
Published as : (2007)‘Biomacht und nekro-Politik. Uberlegungen zu einer
Ethik der
Nachhaltigkeit’, in: Springerin, Hefte fur Gegenwartskunst, Band XIII
Heft 2,
Fruhjahr , pp 18-23

Fonseca, Felipe. Reconhecimento e superação da exploração capitalista em
redes criativas de colaboração e produção Liinc em Revista, Rio de
Janeiro, v.12, n.1, p. 25-39, maio 2016,

Petites Singularités "Singular technologies and the third
technoscape"JOPP (Journal of Peer production)#11 city, February 2018

Rouvroy, Antoinette & Berns, Thomas. (2013). ‘Gouvernementalité
algorithmique et perspectives d’émancipation’, In: Réseaux, no 177, p 163.

Takhteyev, Yuri. 2012. Coding Places: Software Practice in a South
American City. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Toupin, Sophie & Spideralex (2018). “Radical Feminist Storytelling and
Speculative Fiction: Creating new worlds by re-imagining hacking.” Ada:
A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No. 13.
10.5399/uo/ada.2018.13.1

Umoja Noble, Safiya. “A Future for Intersectional Black Feminist
Technology Studies” The Scholar and Feminist Online.Traversing
Technologies, Special Issue. Edited by Patrick Kellty and Leslie Regan
Shade. 13.3-14.1.


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