About the Conference
Over the last decades, the advent of digital and social media has deeply affected and radically transformed the interplay between politics, communication and new technologies. This has had a major impact on how engagement and participation take place in the digital age, as well as on how we tell stories and present ourselves through online platforms and within other networked virtual places (De Fina and Georgakopoulou 2020).
The new cyber territories that we inhabit daily involve different configurations of digital communication and social practices, which change significantly on the basis of cultural contexts of interaction, interaction spaces, and semiotic resources. This is even more true when it comes to Indigenous communities across the globe, whose widening use of new media has become “a creative and empowering tool to combat language death, raise political awareness, and ingeniously create Indigenous networks across various geographies” (Menjívar and Chacón 2019: 11).
As Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew, founder of Drumbeats to Drumbytes, highlighted, “the digital realm provides Indigenous communities with an autonomous platform to assert an online presence in the face of colonial catastrophe” (2005). For instance, Indigenous digital activism in response to social and political injustices has reclaimed counter-discursive spaces of resistance in the cybersphere, entering the public arena with digital movements such as #idlenomore (Mongibello 2018), #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA and #IndigenousDads (Carlson 2019) as well as Facebook posts, Instagram stories, Twitter hashtags, YouTube videos, blogs etc. Indigenous digital media innovators are using Web 2.0 technologies in highly creative digital projects such as CyberPowWow and Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace.
Such movements, projects and forms of individual digital activism resist power, domination and control by interrogating contemporary colonizing systems and subverting the mainstream narrative of the ‘unmodern Indian’ along with other stereotypes (LaRocque 2010, 2016). New dynamic forms of Indigenous self-determination and network sovereignty (Duarte 2017) through social media, in particular, allow Indigenous people to “agitate, demand political recognition for Indigenous causes, and proffer contesting and challenging views that dismantle colonial preoccupations with Indigenous political unity” (Carlson and Frazer 2016). Indigenous communities are therefore carving out a space for themselves as full participants in the shaping of the cybersphere (Lewis 2016). These digital advancements make a better understanding of the dynamics of digital communication and Indigenous resistance more essential than ever.
The connection between indigeneity and new technologies has recently been investigated from a variety of perspectives, employing several critical lenses and methodologies (Hilder 2017, McCallum et al. 2009, Latufeku 2006, Salazar 2009, Wilson and Stewart 2008, Landzelius 2006) in the fields of Information Studies and Ethnic Studies, mostly. The International Conference “Indigenous Resistance in the Digital Age: the Politics of Language, Media and Culture” aims at broadening the current critical debate on creative Indigenous resistance in digital environments so as to include a combination of theoretical approaches and methodologies that range from Indigenous Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, Corpus Linguistics, Multimodal Analysis, Media Studies, among others, that may offer new perspectives and insights.
The International Conference “Indigenous Resistance in the Digital Age: the Politics of Language, Media and Culture” will be held online on Zoom on 27-30 October 2021. The conference is free of charge for speakers and attendees. Attendees who are not presenting a paper must register through the Registration page.