Technology of the oppressed: Inequity and the digital mundane in favelas of Brazil


Nemer draws on extensive ethnographic fieldwork to provide a rich account of how favela residents engage with technology in their everyday lives. Their stories reveal the structural violence of the information age. But they also show how those oppressed by technology don’t just reject it, but consciously resist and appropriate it, and how their experiences with digital technologies enable them to navigate both digital and nondigital sources of oppression—and even, at times, to flourish. Nemer also addresses the relationship of misinformation to radicalization and the rise of the new far-right in Brazil.


David Nemer is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Affiliated Faculty in Latin American Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of “Technology of the Oppressed” (2022, MIT Press) and “Favela Digital: The other side of technology” (2013, GSA). Nemer has a PhD in Computing, Culture, and Society from Indiana University, a Master’s in Anthropology from the University of Virginia, and in Computer Science from Saarland University. He is also a Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center and an Affiliated Scholar at Princeton University’s Brazil Lab.

February 23, 3:30pm

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