No Cloud Without Sky – Spectrum Sovereignties

Key Terms: spectrum sovereignty; decolonization; technology; internet; media; place

Lead: Jeff Gagnon

About the Project

Despite their widespread adoption by liberatory movements, digital communications technologies remain inseparable from the physical, social, and economic infrastructures that produce them. In anticolonial contexts, these technologies are always haunted by ongoing territorial dispossession, resource exploitation, and treaty violations. An understanding of cyberspace as landless and ethereal makes it difficult to reconcile it with place-based practices and with decolonization of land and territory. The ethereal view of the internet makes of it a reinforcement and amplification of settler colonial relations. Spectrum sovereignty makes visible the otherwise unseen and uncritiqued spatial hierarchies that are at play in the production and maintenance of cyberspace.

“No Cloud Without Sky”, is an investigation into mobilizations for spectrum sovereignty: a reconsideration of radio and broadband spectrums from within Indigenous territorial rights contexts. It proposes to convene a space in which to promote genuinely decolonized internet and communications networks.

The FLOURISH Collective is supported in part by funding from the New Frontiers in Research Fund,
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the University of Toronto Connaught Fund