Me, We And The Machine - The Institute of Technology, Gender, Sexuality and Rights

9 December 2018
Amsterdam, Netherlands

“Till I was 17, I did not have a word for who I was, or could be. I did not know I was a transgender girl. But as a 16-year-old, I discovered the internet.”  Nadika, The Smartphone Freed Me | 13 August 2015, https://deepdives.in

Millions of individuals and communities around the world today use technology to explore, express, navigate and advocate for their gender, sexuality and rights. Phones, simple or smart. Desktops. Smart watches. Tablets.In the digital age, our lives are no longer ‘physical only’. The way we live now is defined, to some extent or another, by technology. The tapestry of our lives has shifted from the physical world only to the physical + digital, spaces that weave in and out of each other like tangled balls of wool.

As our lives seamlessly yin and yang in and out of the physical and the digital, so does our gender. Our sexuality. Our rights.

In many cities and regions, queer communities first form online… then move offline, when it’s safe enough to do so. Think #queerlivesmatter

Global protests and activism around gender-based harassment and violence erupt or are amplified in digital spaces. Think #metoo

And many aspects of digital technology are giving rise to new rights claims and demands, including the right to be forgotten. Think #digitalrights

It’s time for social movements to think more deeply about how technology intersects with sexuality, gender and rights. How can we shape the future instead of being shaped by it? That’s what Me, We And The Machine is all about.

What

Me, We And The Machine is a seven-day residential institute that dives deep into two big questions:

  • How does technology shape and influence sexuality, gender and rights?
  • How do sexuality, gender and rights inform and shape technology?

Following the style and methodology of CREA’s flagship institute on Sexuality, Gender and Rights, this institute explores the intersection of theory and practice in the context of social movements. The institute will explore the following core concepts, linking them to advocacy, including rights-based claims and strategies that advance the goals of movements working on gender and sexuality:

  • Technology as site and space (public, private, hybrid)
  • Sexual expression as a key aspect of free expression
  • Body becoming data, data becoming body
  • Consent and privacy in the digital age
  • Tools of control, from censorship to surveillance
  • Online and offline harassment
  • Artificial intelligence, rights and social justice
  • Movements, activism and technology

 

When

Me, We And The Machine is designed as a seven-day Institute of theory and practice, that will take place from 9-15 December, excluding travel.

 

Where

Me, We And The Machine will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, during 9-15 December 2018. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

 

How

Think. Relate. Play. Talk. See. Read. Shift. Me, We And The Machine is designed as a series of seven tracks - all of which explore these intersections through different pedagogies.

 

Who

The Institute Me, We And The Machine is hosted by CREA and Point of View.

CREA is a global feminist human rights organisation based in New Delhi, India. CREA works at the grassroots, national, regional and global levels to build feminist leadership, advance women’s human rights, and expand sexual and reproductive freedoms for all people.

Point of View is a feminist non-profit based in Mumbai, India. We build and amplify the voices of women and other marginalized genders and remove barriers to voice, speech and expression. Gender and sexuality are at the heart of our work, as are disability and technology.

Participants

Only 30 participants will be selected for the institute, based on their application forms and their ability to demonstrate how they would apply the lessons of the Institute. Individuals working on issues of sexuality, Gender Based Violence, LGBTI rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, disability rights, and on the intersection of gender, technology and rights are eligible to apply. Participants are required to stay for the entire duration of the course.

Travel and Visa

Participants are responsible for incurring their travel costs to and from the Institute and obtaining their own visa. Please allot enough time to the visa application, as the process and timeline may take upto 30/40 days in some cases. Please do check the requirements for your country.

 

Registration Costs

Registration and Course fees are due on or before 15 November 2018.

Registration Fee: EUR 250. All selected applicants will have to pay this fee.

Course Fee: EUR 1000. This covers tuition and resource package. Course fee does not include travel costs to and from the Institute venue for anyone.

Scholarships

A very small number of full and partial scholarships are available on a need basis. Please note that the scholarship process is competitive. Only individuals who meet all the following criteria are eligible to apply for a scholarship.

• Working for national/local organisation in the global South;

• Working and residing in the global South; and

• Working on sexual rights, LGBT, sex workers' rights, and rights of people with disabilities, and gender and technology

NOT ELIGIBLE: Students; individuals not affiliated with organisations; and individuals working with international organisations.

Full Scholarship: Tuition, Resource Package, Accommodation and Meals

Partial Scholarship: Tuition, Resource Package

 

You can also make a scholarship contribution to the institute by writing to us at: sluthra@creaworld.org

 

Accommodation and Meals 

Participants are expected to arrange their own accommodation and meals. For those who are interested, we have a few rooms booked at discounted rates that they can pay for directly. For those availing full scholarships, considerations have been made to ensure reasonable accommodation and accessibility.

Selections

Please submit your application as soon as possible. We will be selecting participants each week on a rolling basis, in order to begin the process of visa applications as well as seeking funding opportunities as soon as possible. Though the deadline to submit your application is 7 October 2018, early applications will be given priority, and thus we encourage you to apply much before the deadline.

Funding opportunities

We encourage participants to approach donors to sponsor their participation. Possible sources for funding include the organisation you work for, your organisation's donors (some funders will consider travel grants to current grantees), and donors who fund the emerging area of gender, technology and rights. We suggest that you begin researching options immediately upon submitting your application to us.

Participating faculty

Institute faculty will consist of scholars, researchers and practitioners who are recognised for their work at the intersections of technology, sexuality, gender and rights.

Application deadline

Applications are due on or before 7 October 2018. To apply online, click here. If you experience difficulty with the online method, download the application here, and e-mail the completed form to Sushma Luthra at sluthra@creaworld.org. Send any queries to Ms. Luthra as well. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Applicants will be informed about the selection decisions by 20 October 2018.