In this cross-regional research project, we critically examine the tension between digital democratization and securitization in the Global South, focusing on recent cases in Latin America (Nicaragua, Colombia) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand). Addressing the mutual entanglement between the new authoritarian turn and the emergence and subsequent repression of protest movements in the wake of the rapid digitization of state apparatuses and civil society across the Global South, we seek to analyse how the sociotechnological affordances of the digital realm inflect the politics and aesthetics of authoritarianism and protest in specific political conditions. We do so by means of visual and cultural analysis of the digital cultural productions of protesters and power holders, and digital ethnography of the micro-politics of digitally-mediated contentious political communications and controls, while remaining attentive to the slippages between the digital and non-digital, and to the political economy of digital infrastructures as an instrument of power
Julienne Weegels is an Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies. Her research focuses on the politics and aesthetics of (dis)order, incarceration, and hybrid forms of repression.
Yatun Sastramidjaja is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. Her current research focuses on youth activism, authoritarianism, democratisation, and digital technologies in Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia.
Luisa F. González Valencia is a filmmaker and film curator, and currently a Ph.D. candidate on Colombian popular cinemas with ARTES and CEDLA.
As part of this GDC-funded project, Julienne Weegels, Yatun Sastramidjaja and Luisa Gonzalez Valencia have written a blog post titled "Between digital democratization and securitization: Looking into the politics and aesthetics of digital authoritarianism and protest in the Global South". Read the full text here.