I have always been a big fan of technology, comics, movies, video games, anime, and all the other things you would expect a Black nerd to like who grew up in the 90s to mid 2000s. Although my actual job is to shepherd undergrads while eventually write a long ass dissertation, I always found time to follow technology, comic, and video game news. There are now A LOT of great publications out here, many of which I follow, including sites like The Verge, Polygon, Engadget, Android/WindowsCentral. Although I really value the insights of the people in the tech blogging industry, there are a lot of problems with how the mainstream reports, discusses, and understands technology and how it impacts our world. As it has been noted in many other discussions there is a lack of attention given to how these current and new technological realities intersect with already existing systems of colonialism, cishertopatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, and others that destroys lives every day. There’s also a lack of imagination of other worlds, other possibilities that don’t take these systems of oppression as taken for granted realities. Decolonized Tech seeks to be an online space to imagine these other worlds and possibilities.
There are many publications that are already doing the work of challenging the cishet masculine whiteness of technology and geek culture including Black Girls Nerd, A Tribe Called Geek, Geeks of Color, The Geeky Gimp, and many others. Decolonized Tech owes its existence to the work of these other wonderful spaces. What I want to do with Decolonized Tech is in general bring y’all anti/de/postcolonial analyses of consumer technology, video games, geek culture, and other related topics. My hope is that we can have discussions about how technology can be used as part of liberation struggles, or conversely, why we should challenge technological “innovations” that will lead to more suffering. When it comes to video games, anime, and the like, I have a similar goal of facilitating critical discussions of these medias from the perspective of oppressed peoples.
(In case it wasn’t clear earlier lol) Decolonized Tech is an explicitly political space. We prioritize the interests and perspectives of colonized and oppressed peoples in our writing style, topic choices, and in what pitches we accept. On that last point, as a matter of principle, we pay people for their labor. My ancestors were stolen and forced to work on stolen land for hundreds of years. As a descendant of those people I want to make sure nobody is asked to enrich someone else without fair pay/compensation. Similarly, although privileged people are of course welcomed and encouraged to contribute to this space, when it comes to accepting writing we will prioritize Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, and disabled folks of various intersections because there is still too little space for oppressed people to do paid writing.
The range of things you will see will include critical reviews of video games and shows, thinkpieces about some tech topic, sociologically informed writing on science and society, short stories, and (twitter followers will know this one) faux sociological studies of fictional worlds such as Dragon Age. This diversity of writing genres is meant to give space to see the future, technology, and our place in the web they create in a multitude of ways. There is no predetermined future that we are destined to live out. The knowledge of that fact is what gives hope to oppressed people that the world won’t always be this way. The malleability of the future is also why so many oppressed people love thinking/writing/reading/talking about different futures. Join us as we come to imagine some of those better futures together.
Come back to this space over this week to see our first articles including a discussion about how Dreamworks Home (Movie +TV Show) are textbooks to settler decolonization for kids, the first installment in my Thedas Colonial Studies series on the settler origins of human society, and a discussion about why intergalactic wars over resources makes zero sense. Make sure to pitch us your articles here. And if you have other ideas for the site feel free to tweet @DecolonizedTech or me personally @HoodAcademic on Twitter.