Patterns of (In)Difference: Gossip, Code and Colonised Bodies

9 July 2021, 6 p.m. CET

Discussion with Jacqueline Saki Aslan (Sociologist of Education, Artist, Social Worker, Hamburg), Amina Aziz (Journalist, Academic Speaker and Political Educator, Berlin), Tobias Matzner (Professor of Media, Algorithms and Society, University of Paderborn), moderated by Agnieszka Roguski.


Techniques such as scanning, processing and analyzing data seem to be objective tools of ideology-free technologies. However, algorithms reflect the power of those who program them. Whether facial recognition software or AI, as soon as people are made legible as data subjects, they are classified; and thus privileged or discriminated. So how does the programming of abstract software affect the concrete reality of bodies? What opportunities does the viral circulation of information offer to rewrite digitally encoded infrastructures? In short, can gossip contribute to a decolonization of the digital?


Jacqueline Saki Aslan researches and works on new forms of history and museum education, women’s* health and political empowerment, refugee history and trauma, and the Yezidi genocide. Her focus is on classism intertwined with race and gender. Until 2020, she was part of the consultation group on the federal government’s Women, Peace and Security agenda. Currently, she advises the MARKK Museum in Hamburg as a freelance facilitator and is active as an artist.

Amina Aziz works as a journalist, academic speaker, and political educator on topics such as post-coloniality and decoloniality, anti-racism, Islamism and post-Islamism, and drug policy. In her work, she is particularly interested in marginalized perspectives, focusing on the effects of capitalism and colonialism. She is the editor of the Encyclopaedia Almanica and produces podcasts, including for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the Kunstmuseum Basel.

Tobias Matzner is Professor of Media, Algorithms and Society at the University of Paderborn. His research is situated at the intersections of culture, society and digital technologies. Tobias Matzner studied philosophy and computer science in Karlsruhe, Rome and Berlin and received his PhD in philosophy in Karlsruhe. He has worked at the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities in Tübingen and the New School for Social Research in New York.


The talk was recorded and can be watched on our YouTube or Vimeo channel.



9. July 18 h Event