Stefania Milan & Lonneke van der Velden @The Subversion of Big Data

Both Stefania Milan and Lonneke van der Velden participated in a panel session at the Subversion of Big Data – Cultures, Discourses and Practices of Big Data in Social Movements Contexts. This seminar is part of the Social Movements and Media Technologies: Present Challenges and Future Developments Seminar Series which took place in Florance at the 17th and 18th of November 2016.

The panels being, respectively:

  1. Activists’ data cultures in the understanding of big data

For a long time now activists have managed different types of social data for
civic purposes in the context of their mobilizations. In doing this, they devel-
oped different attitudes and beliefs towards data, including what citizens can
do with them and to what extent they can be embedded into social movement
activities. This panel looks at big data through the lenses of different activists’
data cultures in order to put the emergence of big data, and their integration
within activists’ repertoires of contention, into an historical and cultural per-

2. Social practices related to big data in activists’ contexts

Activists are not just passive producers of data when they mobilize. On the
contrary, they often consciously engage in social practices that include the
gathering, analyzing, and visualizing of big data in the context of their activist
projects. This panel discusses such social practices related to the use of big
data in the broad framework of social movements. The aim is to unveil the lib-
eration potential of big data for citizens and their grassroots initiatives as well
as the repressive capacities of big data when it comes to activists and their
(revolutionary) projects.


The entire program can be found here.