Participatory Media and Shifting Landscapes of Security and Surveillance in the Middle East: Perspectives from the Field
This workshop, hosted by Lund University Internet Institute (LUii) and Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), considers how data and information produced in and about the region through participatory media platforms are shaping emerging infrastructures of surveillance in the region. It also addresses some of the methodological and ethical challenges of researching and writing about the politics of security for different platforms in an age of ubiquitous surveillance.
Since 2011, scholarly and policy work on social media use in the Middle East has often centered on either its democratizing potential, or on critiques of the techno-determinism implicit in these narratives. It is true that interventionist ethics are frequently integrated into discourses on bridging the so-called ‘digital divide,’ however social and participatory media produce ambivalences in how the region continues to function as a laboratory for new techniques and technologies of capital accumulation, security, and gendered and racialized discipline, while also creating novel spaces for participatory politics that resist cultural and religious explanations of agency and change.
Drawing on research from her book manuscript Optics of Capture: Platform Desires in an Age of Intervention, as well as my current field research in the Gulf, Nicole Grove from University of Hawaii, wants to focus on different ways that social media intersect with emerging practices of securitization, for instance through crowdsourcing information on sexual violence, the use of peer-to-peer funding platforms, and in video game play and design for police training and public awareness campaigns.
Thwe workshop will also discuss research at the intersection of fieldwork and digital ethnography, and what this kind of research means for basic issues like privacy and the anonymity of informants. Finally, it will consider how participatory media and social technologies are producing new and complex interrelated global phenomena that frequently resist a ‘regionally-focused’ analysis.
This symposium is part of 'The Digital Society' science week, which takes place between 24-30 April.
See all events during this week (in Swedish)
The science week will be kicked-off with a concert on 23 April at 17:00 pm. The concert is free of charge but will require a ticket to ensure a seat (a small fee of 20 SEK will be charged). Musicians will play music from famous TV- and computer games in the City Hall here in Lund. The event will be held in Swedish but can still be enjoyed by English-speaking participants.
Learn more about the concert