Colour of Surveillance Europe Conference: Call for Proposals now OPEN

Submit your proposal for the European Colour of Surveillance Europe Conference, happening on 15-16 September 2022, an event organised by European Digital Rights in partnership with Bits of Freedom, Controle Alt Delete and Digital Freedom Fund. Call for proposal has been extended: submit your proposal by 19 May.

Racialised people in Europe are systematically discriminated against, over-surveilled, and underprotected in all areas of public life. Increasing resort to security, surveillance and digital ‘solutions’ are likely to worsen these trends, further monitoring, judging and harming racialised and marginalised groups. What will increased digital surveillance mean for our resistance against oppressive systems in Europe?

European Digital Rights, in partnership with Bits of Freedom , Controle Alt Delete and Digital Freedom Fund are now organising a European Colour of Surveillance Conference.  The conference will explore the intersections between racism and surveillance and is aimed at making new connections between racial justice and digital rights groups to join efforts in resisting racism and surveillance. The Colour of Surveillance conference was initially developed by the Center of Privacy and Technology at the University of Georgetown (US). 1

Objectives of the conference

  • Raising awareness of the issue of racialised surveillance and criminalisation in Europe.
  • Building connections and facilitating collaborative efforts between those organising on these issues.

Dates and location

The conference will take place on 15 and 16 of September 2022, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (exact venue tbc).

Structure

Note that the Call for Proposals applies only to day two of the conference. 

Day 1Panels

The day will bring together a broader audience, including activists, researchers, funders, journalists and others engaged in the fields of racial justice, digital rights and anti-surveillance. This day will set the context with various panels, screenings and discussions. These will explore key themes, issues, tensions and current organising linking these topics.

Day 2: Workshops (Open call) 

A closed space for organisers impacted by surveillance and racism. Participants will meet in self-led workshops, discussions, and planning sessions to build relationships with each other, share analysis and lived experience, explore intersections between their work, and also encourage concrete reflection on ‘what’s next’. All participants in day 2 of the convening will also be supported to attend the first day of the convening. 

Themes

The aim of the conference is to go beyond critique alone, and center ongoing resistance to surveillance and racism as well as concrete proposals and alternatives.

The first Colour of Surveillance Europe conference will focus on the topic of criminalisation, and will bring together three key themes under this umbrella:

   1. Migration and border technologies

   2. Data driven policing (offline and online)

   3. AI as a tool of austerity (labour, social services)

Indicative ideas of topics to explore:

  • Racialised mass surveillance
  • Border technologies
  • Surveillance online and censorship of activists
  • Anti-terrorism agendas
  • Prisons and abolition
  • Class, austerity, benefit systems
  • Surveillance in the workplace, including informalised and app-based workers
  • Criminalisation, drug policy and racism
  • Abolitionist perspectives to surveillance and technology
  • How to sustain our work; resourcing financially or beyond. How do we create sustainable and supportive/caring structures that center those most impacted?

What we are looking for

  • Interactive and participatory workshops.
  • Sessions that address one or more of the themes set out above
  • Those facilitating and developing the workshop should be, or demonstrate how they involve, people directly impacted by racism & surveillance
  • Proposals should link racism with technology and or /data-driven trends
  • Proposals with creative or participatory methodologies
  • Sessions are encouraged to be propositional – exploring ways to build resistance or address the issue at hand.
  • Proposals may be submitted jointly with two or more organisations or groups

Financial support

We will support travel, accommodation and meals for participants who would not otherwise be compensated for their attendance. Where applicable, this includes visa fees.

Access note

If you are unable to complete a written application, we are able to organise a phone or video conversation instead to discuss your session proposal verbally.

How to get involved

If you would like to propose a workshop for day 2 of the conference, apply via this form by 19 May: https://cloud.edri.org/index.php/apps/forms/6pQXwfpErmBJTrHy*

If you would be interested to attend the conference as participant without proposing a workshop, please express your interest via this form: https://cloud.edri.org/index.php/apps/forms/qyBMMY3ciSPWARPn.* Please note that spaces will be limited.

Illustrations credit: Vidushi Yadav

* If you are unable to complete a written application, we are able to organise a phone or video conversation instead to discuss your session proposal verbally. Please, get in touch with Fenya Fischler at for any questions and requests.

1This conference was inspired by the work of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University (US) but is not affiliated or organised in conjunction with them. To find out more about this conference see: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/privacy-technology-center/events/color-of-surveillance-2019/

Content Committee

We are grateful to the support and guidance of our content committee members who will be engaged in reviewing and selecting sessions for the Colour of Surveillance Europe conference.

Alyna Smith

Deputy Director - PICUM

Dionne Abdoelhafiezkhan

Controle Alt Delete

Esra Ozkan

Table Co-Director - Justice, Equity and Technology Project

Jair Schalkwijk

Controle Alt Delete

Laurence Meyer

Racial and Social Justice Lead - DFF

Lotte Houwing

Policy Advisor - Bits of Freedom

Nadia Benaissa

Policy Advisor - Bits of Freedom

Sabrina Sanchez

Coordinator - ESWA

C

Sarah Chander

Senior Policy Advisor- EDRi

Fenya Fischler

Membership and Community Officer - EDRi