A Thousand Cuts: Social Media and Technologies as Tools for State Terror and Populism
When: Thursday, October 01, 2020, 06:00am
Category: Center for Cultural Analysis
This event will screen a recent documentary A Thousand Cuts, produced, written and directed by Ramona S. Diaz (Imelda, Motherland), followed by a panel discussion with the film’s subject, Maria Ressa, renowned journalist and activist, along with scholars of media and the state to explore social media, state violence, press freedom, police brutality and authoritarian regimes. Across the globe the disciplinary machinations of dictatorial rule is manifest in popular nationalism and the erosion of human and constitutional rights. The film focuses on the current effects of Rodrigo Duterte’s infamous “war on drugs,” the continued realities of uneven resource distribution, the shutting down of independent news outlets, as well as the arrest, detention, threats and humiliation of local journalists, including Maria Ressa. (To be held online simultaneously at the University of Toronto, Cornell, UCLA, Barnard, and Rutgers University)
- Maria Angelita Ressa, Journalist, Rappler
- Gina Dent is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies at University of California, Santa Cruz.
- Jinee Lokaneeta is Professor in Political Science and International Relations at Drew University.
- Neferti Xina M. Tadiar (moderator) is Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Columbia University.
6:00 pm: Screening of A Thousand Cuts (1:50)
8:00pm: Panel: Maria Ressa (Rappler) Neferti X. Tadiar, moderator (Barnard College), Gina Dent (UC Santa Cruz), Jinee Lokaneeta (Drew)
Maria Angelita Ressa is a Filipino-American journalist and author, best known for co-founding Rappler as its chief executive officer. She previously spent nearly two decades working as a lead investigative reporter in Southeast Asia for CNN. Ressa was included in Time's Person of the Year 2018 as one of a collection of journalists from around the world combating fake news. On February 13, 2019, she was arrested for "cyberlibel" due to accusations that Rappler published a false news story concerning businessman Wilfredo Keng. On June 15, 2020, a court in Manila found her guilty of cyberlibel. As she is an outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, her arrest was seen by many in the international media and the opposition Liberal Party as a politically motivated act by Duterte's government. Ressa is one of the 25 leading figures on the Information and Democracy Commission launched by Reporters Without Borders.
Gina Dent is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies at University of California, Santa Cruz. She served previously as Director of the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research and as Principal Investigator for the UC Multicampus Research Group on Transnationalizing Justice. She is the editor of Black Popular Culture ( New York: The New Press, 1998) and author of articles on race, feminism, popular culture, and visual art. Her forthcoming book Anchored to the Real: Black Literature in the Wake of Anthropology (Duke University Press) is a study of the consequences—both disabling and productive—of social science’s role in translating black writers into American literature. Her current project grows out of her work as an advocate for human rights and prison abolition—Prison as a Border and Other Essays, on popular culture and the conditions of knowledge. She has offered courses in critical race studies and black feminisms in Brazil (Universidade Federal da Bahia), Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), and Sweden (Linköping University) and lectures widely on these and other subjects.
Jinee Lokaneeta is Professor in Political Science and International Relations at Drew University. She is the author of Transnational Torture: Law, Violence, and State Power in the United States and India (New York University Press, 2011, Orient Blackswan 2012) and the co-editor with Nivedita Menon and Sadhna Arya of Feminist Politics: Struggles and Issues (in Hindi). Delhi: Hindi Medium Directorate, 2001. Her recent book The Truth Machines: Policing, Violence, and Scientific Interrogations in India (University of Michigan Press, March 2020, Orient Blackswan- South Asia edition, 2020 ) theorizes the relationship between state power and legal violence by focusing on the intersection of law, science and policing though a study of forensic techniques-narco analysis, brainscans and lie detectors. At Drew, she teaches courses titled Law, Justice and Society; Torture: Pain, Body and Truth and Policing and the Rule of Law.
Neferti Xina M. Tadiar (moderator) is Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Columbia University. She is the author of two books: Things Fall Away: Philippine Historical Experience and the Makings of Globalization (2009) and Fantasy-Production: Sexual Economies and Other Philippine Consequences for the New World Order(2004), which was awarded the Philippine National Book Award in Cultural Criticism for 2005. She is also co-editor of Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representation (with Angela Y. Davis). Professor Tadiar's work examines the role of cultural practice and social imagination in the production of wealth, power, marginality, and liberatory movements in the context of global relations. Her research focuses on contemporary Philippine and Filipino cultures and their relation to political and economic change, while addressing broader issues of gender, race, and sexuality in the discourses and material practices of nationalism, transnationalism, and globalization.