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Accepted Contribution:

Intentional data loss as decolonial, anti-capitalist practice? Reflections from the field  
Stephanie Ketterer Hobbis (Wageningen University)

Short abstract:

Drawing on field research in diverse Pacific Islands, this paper asks to what extent, when and how intentional data loss (non-recording, non-transmission, deletion) constitute decolonial and anti-capitalist values and practices.

Long abstract:

To what extent, when and how may intentional data loss (non-recording, non-transmission, deletion) constitute decolonial and anti-capitalist practices? Drawing on field research in diverse Pacific Islands, including sites in Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vancouver Island, Canada, this paper showcases multiple examples for practices aimed at intentional data loss, digital and non-digital alike. Simultaneously, this paper seeks to uncover diverse underlying values linked to data loss, deletion and related practices and demonstrates how these values are entangled with broader histories of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist resistance. By so doing, it empirically and conceptually challenges the overarching, often proclaimed ‘moral good’ of long-term, secure data storage and preservation. Finally, this paper poses critical questions to open data movements and their entanglements with capitalist, colonial data management.

Combined Format Open Panel P122
Degrowing data: valuing and practicing intentional data loss
  Session 1