FMK Open Lecture: Renata Avila "The Digital Despot"

Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade invites you to the open lecture by Renata Avila, human rights lawyer and Wikileaks legal representative, that will take place on Thursday, December 15, at 7 PM in Room 8 (4th floor) at the FMK (Karadjordjeva 65).

The open lecture is organized as part of the new post-graduate program "International Relations And Diplomacy" at the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade.

"Technology is political. But technological developments are taking place at a speed and its effects are only addressed ex post, ineffectively. Its course seems inexorable, its societal effects hard to measure.

While still trapped in the debate of privacy and security, a second iteration of the crypto-wars of the past is moving at an accelerated pace, exponentially advancing the ability to control and manipulate the behaviour not only of the individual, but of entire populations and regions. Freedom and sovereignty, and the right to dissent are at stake. A different configuration, where power is not displayed by jets and tanks, but by strings attached to our eyes, to our minds?

Is this a new form of “digital colonialism” or technological imperialism? Are there political, technological or legal alternatives to challenge it? Are new forms and fronts of insurrection emerging? 

This lecture will explain how we got there and offer a fast route to scape while we can."

Renata Avila is a human rights lawyer specialising in Intellectual Property and Technology. She worked as one of the lawyers representing the Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu and more recently, Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Involved in Internet and Human Rights research since 2006, Renata worked with the Web Inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and more than 125 organizations from the global south, in an effort to uphold human rights in the digital age. She serves as a Board Member of Creative Commons and is an active advisory member for different initiatives, from Brazilian Feminist Collective Coding Rights, to the Data Activism Project from the University of Amsterdam and the the Municipality of Barcelona’s BITS initiative, aiming at reducing surveillance and empowering citizens with privacy tools. She is currently writing a book on Digital Colonialism.

She participated as either guest lecturer or speaker at the American University, MIT Media Lab, University of Toronto, Oxford University, Central European University, Humboldt University, Universidad de Chile, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Amsterdam University, London School of Economics and Harvard University, among others.