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Why Uyghur Unfreedom Matters: At the Limit of Digital Surveillance in Northwest China

June 6, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

What are the economic and social effects of surveillance in Northwest China? Because Uyghurs–a Turkic Muslim ethnic group–have been framed by Chinese authorities as a threatening population in need of social control, their existence offers technology companies space and funding that is unavailable in other parts of China to develop new technologies. These new technologies can then be used to assist in the “legal” theft of their labor when Uyghurs are assigned to work in unfree conditions. Building on analysis of labor exploitation in other places, Prof. Byler will describe the way state power is channeled through infrastructure and institutions to intensify ethno-racialization and produce a “reeducation labor regime” at a frontier of global capitalism.


June 6, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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Darren Byler
Anthropologist Darren Byler is an incoming Assistant Professor of International Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia and a post-doctoral research fellow in the China Made Project at the Center for Asian Studies, CU Boulder. He is the author of a forthcoming ethnography titled Terror Capitalism: Uyghur Dispossession and Masculinity in a Chinese City (Duke University Press 2021) and a narrative-driven book titled In the Camps: China's High-Tech Penal Colony (Columbia Global Reports 2021)His current research interests are focused on infrastructure development and global China in the context of Xinjiang and Malaysia.


Rolled Gold
Rolled Gold is a hip-hop and R&B producer from Philadelphia, PA, who has a versatile, life-long musical resume ranging from jazz to punk bands, trap beats to neo-soul groups, and more. His style has heavy influence from hip-hop producers such as Madlib, J Dilla & Doom, the classic soul catalogues of Motown, Stax & Philly International, and jazz pioneers such as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus & Sun Ra. While Rolled Gold had been sampling for most of his production career so far, his past few years have been spent composing and recording original material, with help from friends and family, to use as sample material.
Tylar J is an R&B singer/songwriter from West Philadelphia with a thorough musical resume & a passionate focus on honest, bittersweet healing music. Her song “Letting Go” lives on her 2020 debut EP, “Before Sunrise,” a collaboration with producer & multi-instrumentalist Rolled Gold. Boogieman Dela is a soulful, gritty, genre-bending singer & MC from Uptown Philadelphia, who’s been building a phenomenal catalog for the past 10 years and has worked with some of the best artists & producers the city has to offer. His song “Bring Me Down” is a hard-hitting, yet introspective modern R&B tune that closes his 2018 EP, “Future Currents,” fully produced by multi-instrumentalist Rolled Gold.