15th Seminar: Eugenia Siapera

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Politics of Liberation

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Politics of Liberation
28 April 2023

Eugenia Siapera  “New Technologies: Between Liberation and Subjugation”


The pace of technological development has significantly accelerated in the past 20 years or so. Aided by unprecedented computing power, ideas that belonged to science fiction are now possible. Techniques such as machine learning and deep learning have massively increased in precision and refinement. However, these technological developments take place in a period of intense capitalist crisis. This has led to the formulation of three significant critiques: The first strand focuses on the identification of new or intensified forms of worker control and other forms of subjugation, highlighting intensified surveillance and expansion into the lifeworld, exploitation, resource appropriation, increasing alienation and data extraction as a colonial practice. The second line of critique seeks to identify longer term, epochal shifts, looking at how technologies are co-articulated with, and change capitalist practices, such as platform capitalism, data-intensive capitalism, surveillance capitalism and so on. The third line of critique locates technological innovation as part and parcel of ongoing capitalist restructuring in a context characterised by falling rates of profit and in general the unstoppable drive for growth and profit. All three critiques view technology as caught up in capitalist practices of exploitation and extraction. But is this an inevitability of technological development? Must technological advances produced under a capitalist mode of production always and necessarily reflect its ethos and principles? Recognizing the important contribution of these critiques, I want to address the following questions: can an alternative radical approach to technology be developed? Can technologies aid and even advance a politics of liberation? To address these questions, I sketch out intersections between technology and the project of emancipation across three domains: technologies, labour and economic organisation; technologies and the lifeworld, everyday life and identity; and technologies and the political sphere.


Politics of Liberation is a bi-monthly seminar series which will be convened by Rosa Vasilaki and Giorgos Souvlis and will take place in the premises of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Kallidromiou 17, Athens, 1st floor) on Friday evenings from mid-September 2022 to the end of June 2023, from 7pm to 9pm.
The seminar will have the form of an open talk given by an invited speaker discussing aspects of the current conjuncture related to their research interests. Discussion with the participants will follow and materials related to the seminar will be available beforehand, so as to prepare ourselves for the discussion.

The seminar will take place in person, therefore it is paramount that you register before attending because of space limitations. Registration is on first-come first-served basis so make sure you register early. Registration opens 15 days beforehand. Make sure to make your booking asap!

Check details, watch video and register here