Samba rhino

machine learning + black ontology + philosophy of mind

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Race and Surveillance @ Birkbeck

The conference will explore the way in which race is produced and formed by contemporary surveillance practices and techniques. Racialised differences are reproduced and rearticulated in the use of new surveillance methods, most clearly in terms of pre-crime practices and mechanisms. There has been strong and public resistance to the phenomenon of normalised and blanket surveillance since Edward Snowdon’s revelations about the practices of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US. However, scholarly scrutiny of the differential material and discursive effects of surveillance is urgently needed. Contemporary practices of surveillance are based on long histories of inventing ‘other races’ and the observation and control of minoritised ‘communities’ in the colonies and imperial centres. Understanding contemporary surveillance practices demands understanding their origins in and ongoing connection to colonial histories. Important scholarly interventions on the intersection between race and surveillance exist in the US (Simone Browne 2015; Arun Kundnani and Deepa Kumar 2015). However, the conjunction between race and surveillance is under-researched in Britain and Europe, and this conference will take steps to remedying this. Themes that the conference will explore include, the surveillance and infiltration of anti-racist/ racialised protest movements and radical political cultures by police and security agencies; the discourse and materiality of pre-crime practices in the context of ‘the war on terror’; interconnected colonial histories of race, surveillance and punishment; histories of empire; ‘race’ and policing; ; contemporary security practices and the production of race; surveillance and practices of resistance through surveillance.

Earlier Event: February 10
The Photographer's Gallery