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

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.