‘The new town square, the new public sphere’: Alternatives to neoliberalising cyberspace in India?

  • Saskia Warren Department of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham
Keywords: neoliberalism, cyberspace, Google, corporates, digital public space, domination, academia, North-South

Abstract

On 21 March 2013 a summit on the future of India’s digital media – titled ‘Big Tent Activate’ – was held at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. The Googlefunded summit, which I attended as a delegate, exemplified the neoliberalisation of India’s cyberspace. While I was in New Delhi, I also visited Sarai, an interdisciplinary research centre that is part of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). This intervention briefly critiques the Big Tent Activate’s vision of digital public space dominated by global corporates, and offers Sarai’s Cybermohalla as an example of a progressive space of alterity within a context of corporate domination. The intervention concludes by reflecting on strategies academics can use to help address complex global North-South geographies of representation in their work and beyond.
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