Decolonial digital-memory

The advanced science and technology is taking on an increasingly demanding and commanding rule in digitizing the everyday life and shaping our understanding of the world we inhabit. With this human-technoscience relation, which is marked by continues mutual modification, new life forms have emerged. Technoscience has become the right option committed to protect individual, national and global memory against forgetting, to discipline and control human behavior on earth, and holds a dominant form of knowledge production in today’s world. Embedded in the “rhetoric of modernity” it is celebrated for its efficacy in contributing to technosocial/national progress, economic development, health, labor condition, well-being, and evidence-based knowledge. It follows that in a digitized environment sensing and perceiving become transformative as we are in touch with culture and aesthetics in ways never before experienced in human history, and that the protection of artworks is guaranteed.

In this presentation I stay close to the mode of thought where modernity as a rhetoric is entangled with the logic of coloniality, contributing to making in-visible decolonial epistemic critique. I focus on how colonial epistemology is at the heart of current humanitarian-satellite relation and operations and the thinking and practices about “restitution” of artworks to the continent of Africa, which continues to be produced as a world with “no Law, no Culture, no Science,” and a dangerous place for the “objects,” that are, therefore, contingent on the European technoscience. The latter involves both a digital and anthropological turn to the Kingdom of Benin as lodged in all Benin artworks plundered during colonial imperialism.

Fazil Moradi is a postdoctoral researcher, member of the Law, Organization, Science and Technology (LOST) Research Network, member of Sci-Tech Asia, and Associate at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. His anthropological inquiries are located in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, covering modernity’ infrastructures of memory and violence – genocide-feminicide, bureaucracy, effects of chemical weapons, global drones and satellite imagery – technoscience of evidence & testimony, aesthetics of violence, translation and hospitality. Moradi’s recent publications include, Memory and Genocide: On What Remains and the Possibility of Representation (co-deited by R. Buchenhorst and M. Six-Hohenbalken, Routledge, 2017); Tele-evidence: On the Translatability of Modernity’s Violence (co-edited by R. Rottenburg, Special Issue, Critical Studies Journal, 2019) and is currently completing a monograph entitled, Hosting Feminicide-Genocide: On the Living On of the Un Translatable in Kurdistan, Iraq.