'Conscientization in Times of Cognitive Injustice’: 2nd Paulo Freire Annual Lecture announced

Loughborough University London and online

Anita Gurumurthy

Anita Gurumurthy’s talk to engage with ideas of conscientization and emancipation in times of AI and cognitive injustice.

The Institute for Media and Creative Industries (IMCI) at Loughborough University London has announced that the 2nd Paulo Freire Annual Lecture will be delivered by Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director of the India-based IT for Change, on September 27, 2023 at 6.30 pm (UK time). Her talk, titled 'Conscientization in Times of Cognitive Injustice,’ will explore a key Freirian idea in times of AI and the bot.

The lecture will be hosted in person at Loughborough University London and streamed online; registration is mandatory for both formats.

The lecture will critically examine the AI revolution and its foundational premises. Ms. Gurumurthy will invite participants to turn to Freire in order to understand how the technicalization of knowledge, today, exhorts the discovery of silences preserved carefully to serve the circuits of cognitive capitalism.

“What is the archaeology of consciousness in a post-human society? And how must we act to root out oppression in a new world of brazen injustice?” she asks. ‘’Even as knowledge is made ostensibly more accessible, reordered as it is through AI, reflection and action today demand a process of uncovering the bodies and peoples whose lives are tangled in this (dis)order. Our vision of emancipation must engage with and challenge the meta narrative of AI towards recentering alternative epistemologies,” she adds, elaborating on the topic of her speech.

The Paulo Freire Annual Lecture, now in its second year, reaffirms IMCI’s deep interest in exploring the role of Freire’s ideas in the present and future of social change-oriented movements and citizen-driven initiatives. The Institute continues to conduct research that is heavily informed by Freire and engages with practitioners and academics from across the globe in investigating Freire’s ideas in the context of the 21st century and the digital age. IMCI has published a series of works and hosted some insightful discussions inspired by the legacy of Paulo Freire.

About Anita Gurumurthy

Anita Gurumurthy is a founding member and executive director of IT for Change, where she leads research on the platform economy, data and AI governance, democracy in the digital age, and feminist frameworks on digital justice.

Ms. Gurumurthy actively engages in national and international advocacy on digital rights and contributes regularly to academic and media spaces. She serves as advisor and expert on various bodies including the United Nations Secretary-General’s 10-Member Group in support of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, the Paris Peace Forum’s working group on algorithmic governance, Save the Children’s ICT4D Brain Trust, and Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab‘s Board. She also sits on Loughborough University’s International Development Advisory Board.

About the Paulo Freire Annual Lecture series

The Paulo Freire Annual Lecture takes place each year in September to coincide with Freire’s birthday. They follow a trajectory of events and publications organized by the IMCI since 2019 and intensified during the celebrations of Freire’s birth centennial in 2021.

Paulo Freire was one of the leading social scientists of the 20th century. Known mostly for his influence in the world of education, his works, written between the 1950s and until his death in 1997, appealed far broader. His humanist approach to life, his philosophy of change and commitment to social justice, and his profound engagement with social practice and action made him widely popular across the social sciences and amongst social movements.

Register for the Paulo Freire Annual Lecture.