Decolonizing the Digital

Feminism and Intersec*Tech

What can a feminist future look like that ties technology and digitization back to domination and power structures intersectionally, critically questioning them and creating a space, the basis of which is access and design spaces and not exclusions?

Discourses around technologies, and digital technologies in particular, all too often link them to liberation and a "better, more just" future for all. Yet, it is increasingly clear that the Internet and global communication structures are implicated in a "set of ecological and oppressive conditions on Black lives" (Safiya Umoja Noble 2016). Indigenous people and people of color are not excluded from this, of course. From a feminist perspective, then, we cannot be concerned only with promises of salvation predominantly aimed at preserving white supremacy. We need to develop an intersectional (digital) future that puts fresh, previously ignored, perspectives at the center and thus makes the future or futures possible (again) in the first place.

In this dossier, we take a first step. The primary aim is to develop decolonial perspectives on and with technology. The process of continually renewing colonization is to be broken through, for example, by making colonial processes visible in digitality. Making visible is here our tool for the "decolonial option" (Walter Mignolo 2011), that is, for the abolition of the "coloniality of power" (Anibal Quijano 2000), which is still expressed today in the entanglement of racism and capitalist extraction. What emancipative potentials can then be offered, and how far back must the gaze wander to shape the future.

Concept: Francesca Schmidt