- I have started to interview academics, experts and activists to understand the surveillance and loss of civil rights that are coming with the current pandemic.
- You can ask questions about each interview and I’ll ask them to the guests.
- The goal is to start a conversation. Once we have something solid out of this conversation I’ll do a (live-streaming) roundtable with some guests where you can ask questions right away.
- In short: let’s all build a proper discussion on how to avoid a future dystopia and preserve our privacy and other rights while we can.
About a month ago I started to work on my first feature documentary. It was going to be about data colonialism and the rise of data dictatorships.
I reached out to experts and scheduled some interviews. I bought new gear to increase the quality of the film. Prepared all these interviews from top to bottom. And I had started filming some ideas.
But then the lockdown happened. It was time to cancel the interviews.
Everything was on hold.
But then everything clicked… This isn’t the story I thought I was making.
One just has to see how emergency powers are currently unfolding around the world to know that this crisis will be what will open the doors to a regime of surveillance we didn’t see coming.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just stop me from running my interviews. It changed the entire approach of this film.
A lot is happening in the shadows right now. And we need to have some serious conversations. Not after the pandemic is over. But during the pandemic, when our civil rights and privacy are most vulnerable.
The truth is that after 9/11 we saw one of the most sophisticated surveillance apparatus the world has ever seen.
And I believe the surveillance that will come with this pandemic will be even bigger. This will be under-the-skin surveillance.
So we need to start conversations to figure this beast out and find a way forward.
In short: I’m officially working on this new film. There’s no release date yet. There’s no title either. And there’s no clear concept yet.
So here’s what I’m doing:
I’m interviewing experts, activists and whoever I can, in order to put the pieces together and understand the scope of this crisis.
Then, once we have clarity and evidence, I’ll create this feature film with all the documentation from this journey.
The film will be something that wraps things up and spreads the knowledge we obtain through this journey. But what’s important right now is to start having a public debate around these issues. The film is just secondary. It’s a pure documentation process. What matters here is the journey of figuring out where this is going and deciding how to shape the narrative.
Here’s the deal: after the interviews, I’ll run some Q&As here so you can ask questions to the person I interview.
Then after a couple of times doing this, I’ll organize a roundtable (maybe I can livestream it) to answer the most important questions we come up in this thread.
I wanna take you on a journey. And then spread to the world what we’ve achieved during the following months—or years who knows. We’re going to start monitoring the situation and putting this puzzle together.
I have already run some interviews. Two are published and two more are coming. (I’ll try to release at least one per week.)
Here you can find two related interviews about data colonialism with the co-authors of The Costs of Connection.
Nick Couldry: a Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory at The London School of Economics. Links:
- Video: Invidious or Youtube
Ulises Mejias: an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies department at SUNY Oswego in New York. Links:
So here’s how this is going to work:
First, watch the interviews.
Second, share your questions in this thread.
Third, I’ll do a Q&A again with Nick & Ulises answering your questions.
I’m just trying to do my bit as best as I can. I hope you find this useful. And if you do, please let’s start this conversation.
Please, join the conversation if you can.
You can suggest guests, topics or whatever you think is useful here.
Feel free to reach out through DM or email with suggestions.
PS. there’s a reddit discussion as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/g8bnqy/lets_start_a_wide_debate_around_how_to_defend_our/