IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


POSTPONED: Colonised by data: The costs of connection

04 May 2023, 12:30 pm–1:30 pm

Global big data. Image by sasun Bughdaryan / Adobe Stock.

Please note that this event has been postponed. We apologise for any inconvenience.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Ned Barker


Large seminar room
UCL Knowledge Lab
23 - 29 Emerald Street

Join this event to hear Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejias talk about how 'data colonialism' is reinforcing and producing highly unequal social arrangements whose negative impacts are more acutely felt by the traditional victims of colonialism.

This talk will introduce the speakers' book, 'The Costs of Connection: How Data Colonizes Human Life and Appropriates it for Capitalism' (Stanford University Press, 2019). 

In this work, Nick Couldry and Ulises Mejias argue that today’s transformations of social life through data must be grasped within the long historical arc of dispossession, as both a new form of colonialism and an extension of capitalism. This emergent 'data colonialism' gives shape to a social order based not on the extraction of natural resources or labour, but on the appropriation of human life through data. 

Data colonialism is already resulting in a highly unequal social arrangement whose negative impacts are more acutely felt by the traditional victims of colonialism, whether we define them in terms of race, class or gender; resisting it will require strategies that decolonial thinking has foregrounded for decades.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in data science, sociology and media studies.

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