The social practice of data activism revolves around the idea that data is not neutral but is political in nature, which is particularly apparent when we think about the data that is not collected, often relating to issues affecting marginalised people and communities. Data activism can use the production of volunteered or open data to challenge existing power relations, allowing activists to quantify and expose specific issues; or it can involve simply disseminating data on events that individuals feel have not been properly addressed by those in power.

So how do you go about finding information that doesn’t seem to be publicly available? If that information doesn’t exist, how can you collect it? Where does your DIY data fit into the bigger picture, and how can you use it? What are the advantages and the tensions of being both an activist and a researcher, or an activist and an artist?

For our final OPENSHOP event in OPEN LABS, you are invited to a panel discussion to hear about three distinct projects involving activist data collection, and join a conversation on the politics of data and interdisciplinary efforts to diversify research topics and methodologies.

Our panellists will include Vukasin Nedeljkovic of Asylum Archive, Francesca La Morgia of Mother Tongues, and members of the Maynooth University Housing Justice Research Group alongside MA Geography students.

More information on our panellists:

Asylum Archive is a photographic archive of current and former Direct Provision centres, which act as accomodation for people seeking asylum in the Republic of Ireland. Vukasin Nedeljkovic is a visual artist, activist and PhD candidate at Dublin Institute of Technology.

Mother Tongues is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to raise awareness of the benefits and challenges associated with bilingualism, and provide advice and support for parents, education professionals and anyone working in bilingual environments. Francesca La Morgia is the founder of the organisation, and coordinator of the Irish Research Network in Childhood Bilingualism and Multilingualism.

A unique collaboration between Maynooth academics and students, the recently launched Maynooth University Housing Justice Research Group seeks to generate information about and propose solutions to an escalating housing crisis.

The discussion will be chaired by Science Gallery mediator Joan Somers Donnelly.

Event image from Asylum Archive


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