Towards a Theory of Digital Necropolitics
A dissertation written by Francesca A. Romeo, in 2021; and submitted for partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Film and Digital Media, at UC Santa Cruz.
This dissertation examines the intersections of technology, human rights, and “testimony through representations of the dead, dying, disappeared or wounded body.“
It starts with an examination of the testimony through intimation, like Facebook Live Streams of police murders of black men.
Includes the examples how images of the murders of Oscar Grant, Stephon Clark, Eric Garner, (and too many more) stood as an intimate testimony that galvanized a community of people who are still being brutalized, and executed, by the police. And these images also served as a counter-narrative to the lies Police, City and other Officials would have told us about why these black men died.
The power of these images, and videos, the way that these people documented their lives: let the audience experience what it was really like to be the “other”, at the hands of injustice and inequity.
These testimonies are powerful tools that can be used to help communities mourn, and harness the outrage, and energy behind social movements, and changes in policy.
This dissertation has three chapters. All of which are eminently relevant today.
- Networked Testimony as Necroresistance: Social Media and the Shifting Spectacle of Lynching in America
- Digital Decolonialism: Mapping the Personal and Collective Necropolitics of MMIW
- Open Source Investigations as Practice: The Forensic Aesthetics of Post-Human Testimony