It's time to reject the apocalypse – at least for now. Not out of ignorance or false optimism – on the contrary. We believe that attention must be drawn to inequalities, and that injustices and exploitative systems must be named. “To make something manifest, can be enough to cause a disturbance,” says researcher Sara Ahmed. We want to create disturbances, cracks and disruptions in order to create space for new ideas and forms of knowledge. In the face of the many crises and challenges of our time, we run the risk of becoming jaded or powerless. Instead, we want to ask ourselves how we can meet the pressing questions of our time in order to create equitable and livable visions of our future: “We have to enact the world we are aiming for: Nothing less will do,” says Ahmed. But in order to do that, we also need to know what this world can and should look like.
As a feminist organization, we at SUPERRR LAB have made it our mission to explore and think ahead about the potential of new technologies for our society. With an intersectional feminist approach, we aim to look at digitalization holistically in order to make often invisible power structures, unspoken narratives and systemic connections visible. It is a matter of questioning existing innovation narratives – replacing the mantra higher, faster, further, which comes at the expense of people and the environment, with ones that are more equitable, sustainable and inclusive, and placing values such as collaboration, prudence, and justice at the heart of this new intersectional feminist digitalization.
We not only want to make visible the inadequacies of the systems and structures that surround us, we also want to do something about them. By coming up with alternative and radical perspectives, visions and narratives about the future, we challenge the status quo and open up a space for possibilities and the what-if. In doing so, we are filling a gap in digital civil society - a field in which a large number of watchdogs and advocacy organizations are active -, draw attention to grievances, bring up painful topics and shed light on what needs to be changed.
As part of our fellowship programs, we support individuals and collectives in researching alternative and as yet little-considered perspectives of the future, and in developing technologies that actually meet the different needs of people. In our recent fellowship program, The New New, the recipients designed language assistants that do not make use of gender stereotypes. Young people in Paris used Minecraft to sketch what their homes – the banlieues – could look like in the future. HammamRadio created a safe space for the Arabic-speaking LGBTQ+ community that allowed them to talk about feminism, queerness, and social taboos. And much more.