Public Talk: “Applied Futures”, The (Networked) Image in Conflict: Cultural Activism and Visual Culture, Modern Art Oxford, April 4, 2019


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The degree to which artists and cultural institutions utilised digital media to promote social and political change following the Arab Spring raises significant and timely questions about the relationship between global networked systems of communication and cultural activism. Since 2011, digital images have become closely associated with activist practices, which has in turn produced a number of prevailing assumptions about how effective digital and social media are as tools for embracing and enabling political transformation. Taking into consideration recent revelations concerning the role of social media in surveillance technologies, political repression, and the proliferation of targeted disinformation, and attendant anxieties about the opaque power of algorithms, this panel will explore critical frameworks for understanding the relationship between digitized media and cultural activism. The broader issue here concerns a perennial, indeed worldwide, issue: how do cultural practices — through digital means — realign how we engage with historical events and images of revolutionary conflict?

Nanna Bonde Thylstrup (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Donatella Della Ratta (John Cabot University, Rome, Italy)
Anthony Downey (Birmingham City University, UK)
Chair: Nat Muller (Birmingham City University, UK)

This event is co-organised by Professor Anthony Downey (Birmingham City University) and Modern Art Oxford.

For more information and tickets, see HERE.