Keynote at Digital Fortress Europe in Brussels

I delivered a keynote on 'Amplified activism from afar" in addressing border-making through social media and how diasporas can be powerful forces to contend with in the shaping of national agendas, policies and even grassroots social movements.

This was for the ECREA organized event called "Digital Fortress Europe: Exploring Boundaries between Media, Migration and Technology" held in Brussels end October.

The two-day conference served as a forum to "reflect on the relations between media, migration, and technology. These relations demand our fullest attention because they touch on the essence of what migration means in societies that are undergoing democratic challenges. Research shows that media and technologies play a vital role for people who migrate, but that the same media and technologies serve to spread xenophobia, increase societal polarization and enable elaborate surveillance possibilities. With its intensifying anti-migration populist discourses, humanitarian border crises and efforts to secure borders through technological solutions, the European context provides a pulsating scene to examine such deepening relations. Taking place in the heart of Europe’s political capital, this conference aims to critically reflect on what the much-debated notion of “Fortress Europe” means in the digital age and how it can guide our future thinking on media and migration. As such, scholars of media, communication, migration and technology will be stimulated to contribute to critical discussions on border politics and migration debates."

Got great questions on how we can track online social movements and the ethics of inserting ourselves as researchers into these highly sensitive content based forums online. Other questions were about elaborating on who gets representing in these diasporas (as they are not monolithic groups) and how they balance diversity within a group fighting for self-actualization with being united for a singular cause.

Overall, wonderful forum that brought together academics, policy makers and journalists and artists in search of how to best inform and enable freedoms across board.


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