Special Issue on data activism edited by Stefania Milan and Lonneke van der Velden

Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy

Special Issue on data activism, edited by Stefania Milan and Lonneke van der Velden

With the progressive datafication of many aspects of human life, people become increasingly aware of the critical role of information in modern societies. This awareness nurtures new socio-technical practices rooted in data and technology, which we subsume under the notion of ‘data activism’. Data activism can be understood as a contemporary evolution of earlier phenomena like tech activism, digital activism, and hacktivism. It represents yet another possible manifestation of activism in the information society—one that, however, explicitly engages with the new forms information and knowledge take today as well as their production, challenging dominant understandings of datafication. And because datafication is such a prominent feature in public life, data activism, as a mode of dealing with it, might progressively appeal to more diverse communities of concerned citizens, beyond the expert niche of previous incarnations of tech activist engagement. This shifting terrain represents an interesting test ground for contemporary philosophy and theory-building more in general.

This special issue of Krisis aims to present a wide range of philosophical and theoretical perspectives on grassroots engagement with datafication. With this publication, we bring into dialogue scholars and practitioners that critically explore the politics of data from the perspective of grassroots activism, the organized civil society, and then citizenry at large.

We invite articles that theoretically engage with:
• data and (democratic) agency
• encryption as an activist tactic
• alternative (data) infrastructures
• computational tactics in social movements
• the philosophies of tech-oriented movements
• epistemological questions surrounding data, data production, and data activism
• ethical questions surrounding datafication and data activism
• histories of activism in relation to concepts such as quantification and measurement
• data activism tactics and strategies
• related concepts such as hacktivism, information activism, tactical media, algorithmic activism, digital resistance seen in relation to datafication and data infrastructures
• critical approaches to data visualization
• algorithmic discrimination
• data ethics in activist practices
• ethics for the datafied society
• critical takes on datafication
• critical reflection on methods and research epistemologies for studying datafication and/or data activism
• and more!
To discuss your ideas for a contribution, please drop an email by March 1st to Lonneke@data-activism.net and s.milan@uva.nl