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Towards a Theory of Digital Necropolitics

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

“Towards a Theory of Digital Necropolitics,” elucidates the intersection of technology, human rights, aesthetics, and testimony through representations of the dead, dying, disappeared, or wounded body. Theorizing interventions into "Digital Necropolitics” highlights how the digital revolution has reconfigured the limits of representation, altering our conception of the "human" at the site/sight of death. It explores how virtual forums and digital reconstructions extend biological death, transforming it into a productive "after-life" that can reanimate the corpse and harness mourning, testimony, affect, and identification as constituent elements of social identities and political movements. Working from the margins, networked, cartographic, and post-human forms of testimony address the spectacle of death, evoking different temporalities while contending with the impact of longstanding histories of oppression. In this manner, testimony works as both an interventionist force and one of accretion in which a multiplicity of voices that produce, circulate, and exchange evidence of violations amplify the devastating effects of trauma, reshaping social movements through an activist mourning. In this way, the body is not solely reduced to its vulnerability and death, creating a chain of reductive signifiers, but rather it enables a way of seeing through death and articulating its political relevance in order to project emancipatory visions of life that can viably imagine a future free from violence.

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