[ISEA2023] Institutional Presentation: Dani Ploeger — The Rojava Center for Democratic Technologies

Institutional Presentation Statement

Keywords: Democratic technology, Democratic confederalism, Rojava Revolution, Socialism, Anarchism

The Rojava Center for Democratic Technologies is based at the University of Rojava in Qamishlo, Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. It investigates and develops visions and practices for a technological culture that builds on the principles of democratic confederalism. Democratic confederalism is a form of libertarian socialism that constitutes the backbone of the Rojava Revolution. It is based on decentralized, stateless governance, gender equality, cooperative labour, ecology and direct democracy. The Center is formed by a fluid group of engineers and artists from in- and outside the University and focuses on two main themes: the development of so-called ‘intermediate technologies’ and innovation through incorporation of ‘mythological knowledge’.

To date, artistic research projects have been conducted into post-digital propaganda in public space and decolonial domestic technology. In addition, a reader with key texts has been published in Kurmanji, Arabic and English.

  • Dani Ploeger (NL) explores situations of conflict and crisis on the fringes of the world of high-tech consumerism. His objects, videos and software engage with the spectacles of waste, sex and violence and question the sanitized, utopian marketing surrounding innovation and its implications for local and global power dynamics.