An unfinished reflection on Feminist Kill Joy(s)

Cyberspace has changed remarkably in the past three decades. Cyberspace used to be described as a place where “no one knew you were a dog on the Internet!” this idea of a democratic and somewhat utopian space where experimentation was possible; a place where one could play with identities and with ideas. But, despite tropes of anonymity, openness and information freedom that have long been foregrounded the so-called “traditional” values, norms and behaviors common in mainstream society have nonetheless colonized cyberspace (Milberry 2015). The Internet has unfortunately become a mirror of the dominant offline culture, a space where patriarchal and racist culture predominate along with its material and immaterial effects: gender-based violence and other forms of oppression. First Feminist Kill Joy!  Additionally, cyberspace started to change considerably with the dotcom boom of the late nineties where a gold rush for the Internet emerged and where capital recognized it as a space for capital accumulation.  Second Feminist Kill Joy! Media monopolies transformed this territory of experimentation, relative autonomy and anonymity into a comparatively giant shopping mall and somewhat of a panopticon. Today, we are faced with a situation where the Internet has become centralised and transformed into a consumption sanctuary and a space of surveillance, control and tracking of dissent voices by governments, anti-feminist, and corporations. Third Feminist Kill Joy!  All these factors have led to a situation where the internet is not a safe space and where it is common to see feminists/queer/trans and women’s activist harassed and their work being deleted, censored, and/or prevented from being seen, heard or read. 

Becoming Unsympathetic

One of the ways in which feminist, queer, trans and LQBTQI are fighting back, resisting and protecting themselves individually and collectively is by the creation of safe spaces online and offline.  Safe spaces are grounded in the assumption that shared common values, whether explicit, through a group agreement, or implicit through the sharing of values, allow members of a group to grow, empower themselves, protect themselves and create community. Safe spaces originated in the “women’s and queer movements of the past decades as an identifier of space that is explicitly committed to safety for individuals or communities that are targets of oppression”(Newman 2011, p.138). Consciousness raising groups prevalent in the United States during the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s were among the first safe spaces that aimed at providing a safe speaking and awareness raising environment for women to discuss about their experience in a patriarchal environment. 

The Promise of Happiness!
The notion of a safe space implies the possibility to speak and act freely, generate strategies of resistance and build community, among others (Kenney 2011). Though the scope, nature and raison d’être of safe spaces have evolved and expanded over time, the concept is still central to feminist pedagogy, organizing and liberation. Many movements around the world have used boundaries-setting strategies to create safe spaces. Women-only spaces[1] and women of colour-only spaces are examples of the embodiment of safe spaces. These strategies have recently re-emerged with for instance the Occupy movements where many women, queer and trans did not feel safe to camp in the squares and parks. Some resorted to women-only tents, while others mostly transwomen, opted for an online presence has putting their bodies on the line were deemed too dangerous.
The Act of Pushing 
As the above examples illustrate, creating safe spaces offline has been experimented with for many decades now and championed by the feminist, LGBTQI and people of colour movements, but the creation of safe spaces online is a relatively new strategy.  Pushing for such tactics is away to push back against violence. In this sense, the act of “pushing” becomes a form of political work (Ahmed 2014). Since the online world is one of the new public spheres, adopting safe space strategies and tactics are more and more experimented with. Transferring what one has learned from setting up a safe space offline to the online world might however be tricky and require a bit of tweaking around since the modalities under which digital spaces present themselves are relatively different from the offline world. In the abstract, the concept of safe space is relatively the same, but the strategies and tactics to implement safe spaces online vary significantly.  

Self-care as Warfare 
First, the infrastructure really matters. In the offline world if there are no bathrooms, if the space is located in a shady part of town or if the building is inaccessible mobility-wise, the infrastructure will not help in creating a safe space. At the digital space level, the infrastructure is designed and crafted by companies, developers and/or tech activists who do not necessarily factor in concerns of safety[i]. Often, tech projects do not think through the aspects of creating safe spaces i.e. built-in solutions that allow for feeling safer with regards to one’s own data, one’s own well-being, among others. The prime goal of many companies is generally not to protect you from digital threats (though of course there are exceptions, most of them being tech activist projects), it is rather about profit margin through the selling of your data. Another important point is the fact that those who are crafting these spaces do not necessarily think about the experience of online violence. This is an issue of privilege and as we know the burden of those who experience oppression often rests on the shoulders of those who are affected by these oppression. Let’stake the analogy of an energy saving device. Thoughts you do not need to have and actions you do not need to take extend the life of your batteries. What is clear is that users are largely left alone in dealing with forms of online violence, when they are not blamed for it, and often have to resort to opting out of certain services for the violence to stop. As Audre Lorde (1988) reminds us: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

Second Iteration of the THF! July 25-31 2015


For more information visit: 

Call for Proposals: Queer, Trans* and Feminist Village at the CCCamp

From August 13 to 17, 2015, the Chaos Communication Camp (CCC), an
international, five-day open-air event for hackers, makers and geeks
of all genders will take place in Ziegeleipark Mildenberg(2) near
Berlin, Germany. As the CCCamp (1) provides a space for sharing
technical, social, and political ideas every 4 year, this is an
opportunity not to miss. This year, a self-organised group of
dedicated people will organise in a Do It Yourself (DIY) and Do it
With Others (DIWO) fashion a queer, trans* and feminist village to
bring visibility to feminist, queer and trans* hacking approaches,
create a safe space(3) within the larger CCCamp, continue to build a
global community around those issues and inspire each other.

The queer, trans* and feminist village will be pluralistic, which
means it will include intersectional, feminist, trans*, genderqueer
and race-sensitive viewpoints, among others, that are committed to the
central principles of agency, fulfillment, empowerment, diversity, and
social justice. Moreover, a long tradition of free software and free
culture allow us to amplify hardware and software to hack:
bodies, gender, academia, maternity and child-rearing, operating
systems, distributed networks and other devices.We refer to the 
terms hacking, making and geeking with a full understanding of 
their histories and limitations.

Over the years a global community of feminist, queer and trans*
hackers, makers and geeks has grown in the global south and global
north and we hope to build on this momentum to invite submissions that
aim at bringing visibility to new and old feminist, queer, trans* and 
anti-colonial hacker/maker/geek practices, to the groups and 
collectives that are doing the work, to examples of resistance to 
and support of people subjected to online/offline sexism, violence 
and/or harassment and to any other issues that are of concern to the 
community. We seek contributions from feminist, queer, trans* and people 
of color in addition to allies(4) in any formats, be it hands-on 
workshops, discussions, presentations, artistic installations,  
performance, projections, concerts or whatever activity you think 
could add to the discussion.

To register your activity, you can either add it in a DIY way by using
our wiki at 
(you need to create an account to do so) and/or send your short 
submission to: Note that there 
are no deadlines for submitting your proposal(s), and spontaneous 
activities will be welcomed, but we do encourage you to share your 
plans in advance with us! This will help create enthusiasm around 
our village and its scheduled content.

We are also looking for people who want to help set up, support
(financially for instance), and simply be part of the village or take
part in the activities. If you want to be involved we suggest you
register to the list at:

It will be the first time at a CCCamp that a queer, trans* and
feminist village will be set up, so don't miss it!

(1) Visit the CCCamp wiki:

(2) The CCCamp is not a free event.  However, they are mindful that it
is not everyone who has the financial means to purchase a ticket. 
If this is your case, please let us know.

(3) Safe spaces can be understood as spaces of non-oppression,
non-hierarchy, and non-discrimination, whether explicit, through a
community agreement, or implicit through the sharing of values. They
enable members of a group to flourish, empower themselves and create
community. They are also about pushing boundaries to confront all
forms of sexism, racism and ablesim, among others, as these are values
we internalize in our societies growing up. Safe spaces are an
opportunity to learn more about ourselves and others and to confront this
internalised oppression.

(4)  An ally is someone who wants to support a "disadvantaged" group,
but is not part of that group (e.g. men are allies when it comes to
women's rights issues, white people are allies when it comes to people
of color and indigenous issues, etc.)

The ZeroTrollerance Project

An ironic project that addresses the issue of trolling. The project says 
it is a "self-help for sexists in six simple steps". 
Highly recommended:

A Global F3mHack On May 23!

On saturday 23th of May, we will organise a feminist hackaton all over the 
world. Some activities will begin before and end after that day but on the 
23th, we will pass the baton across different time zones and dedicate our 
global feminist hackaton to Sabeen Mahmud murdered in Pakistan the 24 of 
April 2015. We will use the hashtag #femhack to spread about what is 
going on in different social media platforms. If you want to join and 
propose an activity dealing with gender and technology, privacy and 
surveillance, digital security, hacking gender, software or hardware you
 just have to involve a local feminist group/organisation/collective, 
decide on an activity and submit a proposal in the following template. 
All activities will appear on the openstreetmap below and we will connect 
all of you sending you an invitation to join our moderated mailing list.

We are building this from the ground up! Come and join us 
in imagining, crafting and developing the “opting out” button(s) for 
feminist and post-colonial resistance online and offline. Alone we can 
not do it, but together we can change many things, this is not a one time 
stand alone feminist hackaton, this is just one of our many beginnings 
together, a swarm of cyborgs and embedded desires, we come from the 
internet and we will take back the tech and the streets. The 
revolution will also be feminist or it will not be!

For more info visit: 

Report from Autonomous Infrastructures Gathering

Report from the Autonomous Infrastructures As Feminist Practices Gathering

Produced by FemHack Collective

April 13, 2015

The Autonomous Infrastructures as Feminist Hacker Practices: The Way Forward was organized by FemHack Collective (1) on April 11, 2015 at La Passe in Montreal. La Passe (2) was the perfect space to organize this gathering as it situates itself as an autonomous self-managed space reminiscent of the European social centres. 25 individuals participated in the gathering. There were university professors, PhD students, independent researchers, activists and hackers, among others and they came from backgrounds as diverse as: technology, biology, film, social work, communication, political science, literature, etc. The following report is based on the presentations and discussions that took place as well as the collective notes that were taken on a riseup pad (3) during the gathering.

Motivation – Origin of the idea?

We started with the assumption that in the past few years more and more feminist hackers, makers and geeks have been pondering on the need to have and built autonomous infrastructures to resist the (digital) targeting of women, feminist, queer and transgender individuals (in particular, but not exclusively as also targeted are migrants, refugees, people of color, etc.), the centralization of the internet and its transformation into a consumption sanctuary and a space of surveillance, control and tracking of dissent voices by governments, anti-feminists, and corporations, among others.

At the same time of the heightened consciousness, concrete projects embracing a feminist autonomous infrastructure ethos have emerged. Some examples are : The Geek Feminism Wiki and Blog, Feminist hackerspaces, feminist convergences such as the TransHackFeminist convergence held in Calafou in August 2014, the First Feminist Server Summit held in Brussels in December 2013, etc.

Autonomous infrastructures have been part of activist ethos and landscape for many decades now. Squats and Social Centres that have developed in Europe often embody this practice and the values associated it with as well as other examples such as the Zapatista. At the tech and media activists level, Indymedia was and is (IMC is still present in Africa) still embracing autonomous infrastructures by setting up Independent Media Centres (IMC) during protests and/or setting up independent web platforms. The history of autonomous infrastructures is so rich that feminist hackers, makers, and geeks have a large repertoire of practices to be influenced by.

How do we conceptualize autonomous infrastructures ?

We take the concept of autonomy from radical geography scholarships and practices that understand autonomy as a desire for freedom, self-organization and mutual aid(4) whereas we understand the term infrastructure in an expansive way meaning, but not limited to : code, software, hardware, design, space, social solidarities, etc. We have decided not to use the concept of “free/libre infrastructure”, and rather prioritize the use of autonomous infrastructure for a variety of reasons. First, because in our imaginaries autonomous infrastructure seems to appeal more to our theoretical grounding and practice and also because we are trying to go beyond a free/libre software framework that might not appeal to a larger constituency. Free/libre software are obviously part of the tools we developed and encourage people to use, but using free/libre infrastructure did not resonate well with the project we are imagining and which aims also at going beyond computers. Moreover, we believe that autonomous infrastructures have the power to resist, inspire, build community, but also to disrupt systems in place and in certain context to bring either destabilization or destructuration.

Embracing intersectional feminism

FemHack embraces an intersectional feminist perspective. This is a theoretical framework that looks at the world through plural perspectives highlighting the relationship between gender, sexual orientations, geographical location, ethnicity, class, etc. Moreover, it is a stance that connects the dots between patriarchy, capitalism, racism and other systems of oppressions. By using such framework, we recognize and acknowledge that individuals have privileges in society, and that these modalities play out in the space we engage ourselves in whether they be online or offline and within the groups we gather. We therefore do not shy away from acknowledging privileges and aim at addressing them while at the same time attempting to create safe(r) spaces.

The Guided Dialogue

We organized the day according to four main themes. These themes represented what we believe is at the core of autonomous infrastructures i.e. Space, Hardware, Software and Social Solidarities. You can read the detailed notes from the pad at


We understood space as the physical space we create to gather, feel safe and allow ourselves to push the boundaries of the possible by embodying practices that we believe in. In a feminist hacker, maker and geek practice these include, but are not limited to: feminist hackerspaces, feminist biohacklabs, feminist activists spaces, Feminist teach convergences, etc. Within this theme presenters focused on: BioHackLabs, Bio and Body hacking, Bio Art, and finally an attempt at conceptualizing what a feminist hacking “model” might look like.


Hackers, maker and geeks have been recently involved with the development of “freer” hardware (such as 3D printers, fairphones, fair computers, mesh-networks, etc.). Some of these projects have embodied activist resistance stances while others have rather turned into commercial, lucrative endeavours, been recuperated by capitalism or have become part of a “hobbying” ethos. This theme focused on the materiality of technology and the extent to which it has a negative impact on our health and our environment. The negative impact of technology is often forgotten, particularly when it comes to the extraction of resources and how do we dispose of technology we are no longer using. Then, there was the presentation of what Feminist servers are and how we can conceptualize them (5). Up to now, two feminist servers have been set up. These are the SysterServer and the Anarcha-server(6).


We started from the assumption that behind highly controlled and secretive infrastructures (algorithmic governmentally, closed-source design of devices, mass surveillance) lies the new digital spirit of capitalism. This theme aimed at looking into the software and programming layers which help us evade the augmented capitalist reality we are all grappling with. Presentations and discussions highlighted the feminist tenets of teaching computer programming as a way not to alienate women, queer and trans individuals from learning. Also, the suggestion to participate in a worldwide feminist hackathon at the end of May was highlighted. This idea came out of the Gender and Tech Institute(7) that happened in Germany in December 2014.

Social Solidarities and Feminist Tactics

We understand social solidarities as practices that connect us, whether as individuals or as groups. Social solidarities enable us to craft feminist tactics and/or use feminist tactics to enable social solidarities. Social solidarities may mean safe(r) spaces, popular education, respecting and acknowledging the incommensurability that might exist between different systems of “values” or different registers particularly, but not exclusively with indigenous systems of “values”. In this theme, the case study of greek tech and media activists was presented as way to resist the economic and social crisis that has struck Greece.


The objective of the day was to start a reflection and a conversation on and about autonomous infrastructures as feminist hacker practices. It aimed at gathering people who had an interest in such practices at both the practical and theoretical levels. It was also an attempt to create social solidarities between each other and ponder about ways to collaborate. Many questions are still pending such as: To which extent autonomous infrastructures enable forms of resistance and/or separation from capitalist, patriarchal and racist system of values? How do autonomous infrastructures support/empower the self-valorization of those who take part in such endeavours? What kind of contradictions emerge from the creation of autonomous infrastructures? Are autonomous infrastructures the way forward? With this gathering, we succeeded in generating a lot of enthusiasm about and on the practice and the need for autonomous infrastructures. More activities, meetings, discussions and workshops, and maybe even a feminist tech camp or institute, have been cited as wishes to continue forward with the subject at hand. If you want to get involved or want to be informed about FemHack activities please write to: We are looking forward to hearing from you!


(1) FemHack is an autonomous group from Montreal whose mission is to create an empowering and inspiring environment for politicized feminist and queer hackers (we welcome feminist men). Triggered by Do-It-Together practices, learning by doing and curiosity about how things are made, believing in the freedom of technology, privacy, openness and sharing of common goods, FemHack identifies with the most avant-gardist elements of hacker ethics. We take an intersectional feminist perspective to what we do and think, which means that we hack patriarchy, capitalism and other systems of oppression.

(2) La Passe is a printing and typography workshop, a library, a space for gathering and exchanges, a pole of reflexion and action, a rallying cry and an uproar for getting organized. It lies in the heart of poetry library Gaëtan Dostie located at 1214 rue de la Montagne. As Dostie was the personal secretary of Gaston Miron and editor in chief of the Partis Pris editions, the Library holds over 35,000 prints, posters and hundreds of hours of video, witnessing of Quebec 60s and 70s Counter-Culture. It is in this cultural environment that La Passe invites poetry, avant-garde music, counter-culture lovers and activists to meet. La Passe aspires to be a catalyst for the plurality of independent local communities.

(3) The riseup pad can be accessed here: (4) The radical geographer scholar Paul Chatterton is one example of an author has been written a lot about autonomy in the context of squats and social centres in the UK and about autonomous communities such as the Zapatista. . The Squatting Europe Kollective (SQEK) has also written a lot about the idea of autonomy and squats in Europe.

(5) To read about the elements that compose a feminist server please visit the Ministry of Hacking:

(6) To know more about these two servers read the TransHackFeminist (THF!) Convergence report at: . To know about the history behind the Anarcha Server visit: . The Anarcha-server is presently hosting the documentation of the THF!

(7) To know more about the institute visit Tactical Tech Collective:

Autonomous Infrastructures As Feminist Hacker Practices: The Way Forward

Guided Dialogue FemHack 

FemHack has the pleasure to invite you to a guided dialogue and a brunch on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 11 to 16h at (location TBD) Montreal. We are organising a budget-less and volunteer-run discussion at this very moment in an attempt to reach out to researchers and to the numerous feminist hackers visiting Montreal in mid-April for the PyCon (April 8-16) and Ada Camp (April 12-13).
Structure of the meeting
Brunch: 11h-12h (coffee, bagels, fruits and croissants will be served)
Dialogue: 12h-16h (with a short break around 14h)
The guided dialogues session will run as follow: 
12:00 – 12:10 Introduction to day
12:10 – 13:00 Exposés/Présentations (5 * 10 minutes)  
13:00 – 14:00 Conversation around the exposés/presentations
14:00 – 14:15 Break
14:15 – 14:25 Contextualising The Way Forward?
14:25 – 16:00 Discussion on the Way Forward
Assumptions and Rationale
The initial assumption with the theme of this gathering is that autonomous infrastructures represent a critical perspective to approaching feminist hacker/hacking practices. We refer to the terms hakcers/hacking with a full understanding of its histories and limitations. We understand autonomy as a desire for freedom, self-organisation and mutual aid, whereas the term infrastructures is understood in an expansive way meaning, but not limited to: code, software, hardware, design, space and social solidarities.
The second assumption is the recognition of the importance to connect the dots between the seemingly immaterial digital age and its material impact on the social, the labour, the environment, etc. For example: 
  • the extraction of resources such as rare minerals and metals, such as coltan, gold, copper, etc. to build our digital devices, 
  • the exploitative nature of labour (online communities as commodities, data mining by data empires, poor labour conditions in factories designing devices, etc.)
  • the new digital spirit of capitalism that lies behind highly controlled and secretive infrastructures (algorithmic governmentality, closed-source design of devices, mass surveillance); 
Background/ The origin of the idea 
For many years now, hackers have been involved in the development of infrastructures (often software) and have more recently started to develop “freer” hardware (such as 3D printers, fairphones, fair computers, mesh-networks, etc.). Some of these projects have embodied activist resistance stances while others have rather turned into commercial,  lucrative endeavours, been recuperated by capitalism or have become part of a “hobbying” ethos. With the emergence of a politicised feminist hacker/hacking movement, which is building feminist servers, feminist hackerspaces, feminist hacker convergences, etc. it appears essential to reflect on practices and theoritical frameworks that guide certain practices. Some of the questions that we would like to address include, but are not limited to: 
  •  To which extent autonomous infrastructures enable forms of resistance and/or separation from capitalist, patriarchal and racist system of values?
  •  How do autonomous infrastructures support/empower the self-valorisation of those who take part in such endeavours? 
  •  What kind of contradictions emerge from the creation of autonomous infrastructure?   
  •  What can we learn from case studies of feminist hacker and hacking practices ?
  •  Are autonomous infrastructure the way forward? 
We hope you can join us in this first guided dialogue, which will help us all better understand and conceptualise movements and practices that are starting to build from the ground up. We invite you to come prepared with a 5-10 min case study example, critical position, or any other kind of constructive intervention.
About FemHack
FemHack is an autonomous group from Montreal whose mission is to create an empowering and inspiring environment for politicized hackers of all genders who embrace feminist, queer and trans inflections.  FemHack is committed to creating a safe and responsive atmosphere for learning and discovery. We favour the participation of women, queer, people of color and of different generations, but we also welcome feminist men.

Gender and Tech Institute at the WSF!

Tunisia 2015 – World Social Forum – World Forum on Free Media

Training “Including gender: New approaches to privacy and digital security”
Tactical Tech, in collaboration with RITIMO and Media@McGill, are organising a 10-hour training (2 hrs/day) for up to 3o women and trans people to learn tools and techniques for increasing their understanding and practice in digital security and privacy; and to transfer their knowledge towards their organisations and communities.

Tactical Technology Collective (TTC) is an international non-governmental organisation that trains rights advocates to deploy information and communications technologies – social media tools, mobile phones, digital security and information design. Ritimo is a network of information and documentation for
international solidarity and sustainable development. They also promote the appropriation and use of free digital tools for both local and global citizen initiatives that contribute to the construction of fair and sustainable societies. Media@McGill is a hub of research, scholarship and public outreach on issues and controversies in media, technology and culture.
When is it?
March 22-27, 2015.
Tunisia, World Forum on Free Media at the World Social Forum
Who is the event for?
This is for influential and vocal women and trans people, who are women’s and/or LGTBI rights defenders and activists, and who would like to be trained in digital security and privacy in order to strengthen their work and that of the local networks/organisations they are related to. Note that we do not ask for any
previous knowledge on privacy and digital security. If you have no experience at all but feel those topics are interesting and important for your work and activism, please do not doubt in applying.

What will happen there?
• The training will run for two hours per day for the period of 5 days. This will allow you to attend other events and activities of the World Social Forum, and at the same time increase your understanding and skills in digital security and privacy.
• The training will be delivered by three trainers mastering different dimensions of privacy and digital security. We will draft the agenda proposal once we have reviewed all the received applications.
• Notions such as risk analysis, encryption, anonymity, digital shadows, online identities, social media, tackling on-line violence and also how to develop feminist principles in the Internet will be addressed during the encounter.
How much will this cost me?
There is no cost, the training is free of charge. We are only asking for your commitment to attend the 5 days of the training.
Will there be interpreters?
The training will be delivered in English, however as the team of trainers also speak Arabic, French and Spanish we will be able to translate when certain aspects are not well understood, in the same way you will be able to ask us questions or contribute to the conversation in Arabic, French and Spanish if you feel more at ease expressing yourself.
Where can I sign up?
Please register here:

Suggested lectures about the Gender and Technology Institute:
Security in a Box:
Me and My shadow:

Extractivism, Technology and the Fight for Decolonization

The Comix Reportage I contributed to in 2007 entitled: Extraction!: Comix Reportage will be soon reprinted. Writing an update on the reportage I wrote called: Highway of the Atom, a comix reportage that focuses on the social, environmental and health impact of uranium mining in Canada, allowed me to reflect on the past few years of indigenous resistance and extractivism.

One cannot speak of the fight against the extraction of resources including uranium, without highlighting Indigenous resurgence that kick started an unprecedented social movement since this comix reportage has been written in 2007. Known as Idle No More, this grassroots indigenous movement initiated by four women took off in December 2012 and took issue with the Jobs and Growth Act (2012) also known as the omnibus Bill C-45. Demonstration, marches, round dances and blockades were organized against an act, which threatened to “erode Aboriginal land and treaty rights insofar as they reduce the amount of resource development projects that required environmental assessment; they change their regulations that govern on-reserve leasing in a way that will make it easier for special interests to access First Nation reserve lands for purposes of economic development and settlement” (Coulthard 2014, p. 160) among others. The message to the ruling Canadian conservative party was one of decolonial politics where water, air, land and all creation for future generations are not to be spoiled under the guise of economic development, unbridled capitalism and settler-colonialism. Idle No More took a decisive stance against resource exploitation on their territories outlining and reinforcing Indigenous decolonial politics, which aim at letting them decide what happen on their territories and to say no to resource exploitation on their lands. Indigenous resurgence is according to Glen Coulthard based on the five following theses: the necessity of direct actions, confronting capitalist extractivism as a way to threaten the accumulation of capital on Indigenous lands, the fact that settler-colonialism is based on a structure of domination predicated on the dispossession of Indigenous people’s lands, the imperative of gender justice, and the importance of thinking beyond the nation-state.
Looking back at the history of the exploitation and oppression of Indigenous people on Turtle Island, Lisa Nakamura (2014) tells the story of a group a Navajo women who worked at the Fairchild semiconductor plant in Shiprock, New Mexico, producing circuits in a high-tech factory on an Indian reservation in the 1960s and 1970s. The high rates of pollution on the reservation from the extraction of resources such as uranium, gas, coal, and oil coupled with the pollution from the factory had the following impact: “birth defects increased significantly when either parent worked in the Shiprock electronics assembly plant” (p. 940). Like the story of indigenous people who worked in extracting uranium in the far north of Canada as outlined in my comix reportage, where their land and their cheap labor were exploited, indigenous women in this case were at the center of the PC revolution, but their body and lands paid a severe price for this innovation. This example is an illustration that the battle against extractivism more generally and uranium exploration, extraction and exploitation more specifically, is not only an environmental battle, but also a decolonized and technological battle. It is about resources, in our case uranium, that powers up destructive technologies: nuclear power. Linking up technology, decolonization and resources in our technologically innovation hungry era is fundamental. The technologies that we use on a day today basis (whether our computers, cell phones, cars, power plants to heat our buildings, etc.) has a materiality and an ideology which has considerable impact on our lives and the lives of others.


Coulthard, G. S. (2014). Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Nakamura, L. (2014). Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture. American Quarterly, 66 (4), 919-941.