BBH2022 Round Table on Digital and Inclusive City

How do we go beyond an inclusive digital city?” is the title of a round table session presented at the Bandung-Belgrade-Havana International Conference in Bandung (Indonesia) on November 09, 2022. It is a group work on digital culture and the city developed by scholars from different institutions and fields from France, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. The work presented multicultural aspects of city thought in its digital forms and inclusive models and conditions.

The International Conference was organized by colleagues from the GRIC research laboratory at Le Havre Normandy University, the National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia, Universitas Padjadjaran Bandung, Universitas Airlangga Surabaya and Universitas Udayana Bali, with the participation of hundreds of scholars from 54 countries, from 07 to November 14, 2022, in Indonesia. It has Patronage Board, Honorary Board and Scientific Board; and three committees: International Organising Committee, National Organising Committee (Indonesia) and Local Organising Committee (Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya and Bali).

The authors of the collective round table were Dorien Kartikawangi (1), Nia Sarinastiti (2), Rowena Capulong Reyes (3), Jantima Kheokao (4), Monvadee Siripremruedee (5) Célia Matsunaga (6), Nayara Moreno (7), Virginia Tiradentes (8), and Hadi Saba Ayon (9).

Digital has taken over the city, thanks to its network of infrastructures, dematerialized services (e-administration, e-commerce), and of course, uses that strongly redraw the way of living today. How does the digital culture modify the structure of the city, its space, and its living forms? How to inhabit the physical and digital environments of the city? The city does not have one definition or model. However, it has one common characteristic: gathering people in a specific place with a central authority. In his essay Two linguistic models of the city (Deux modèles linguistiques de la cité), Emile Beneviste (1974) exploits an opposition between the Roman and Greek versions of the city. In Latin, the word “civis” indicates a relationship of reciprocity and interdependence between two individuals or groups. Its correct translation is not “citizen” but “fellow citizen”.
In Greek, the word “polis” defines citizens and citizenship. “Polis” specifies the rules of membership, the rights of participation in the city’s activity, and what results from it: the responsibility and privileges linked to citizenship. The differentiation between the two words, the two models, draws limits between full participation in the city and a confident presence.
What about the citizens and their participation in the digital city? How to include those who do not belong to the city, transformed continuously by digital technology and reshaped in its space, architecture and role? Milad Doueihi wrote about a “new virtual urbanism” (2011) that has become our refuge and the space for our activities. It has its architecture, aesthetics, values, literature and agents. According to him, it constitutes hybrid urbanism inhabited by traces, documents, and fragments but also animated by the voice and the body, by a different temporality, or a new culture. According to Philippe Vidal (2018), digital technology creates territorial differentiation (between spaces) and social differentiation within the same space, for example, within the same city. The city’s digitalization increases the possibilities for making society more inclusive, but the “smart city” generates many obstacles and risks of exclusion for diverse individuals and populations.

The round table, divided into two sessions, questioned how digital technology’s social and cultural uses redefine everyday life’s diverse practices. It brought two topics from Indonesia: the first addresses the need for social participation in sustainable, inclusive cities. It discusses three main interrelated: city and differences, sustainable city, and inclusive city. It talked about how digital technology creates connectivity and transforms services and culture.

The second topic questioned how can business become inclusive in the digital era and highlighted inclusive services design at the heart of a government’s mission that can help tackle complex issues and build trust with customers/citizens more effectively. It talked about inclusiveness, connecting the city with business. In addition, when an innovation mindset is six times higher in the “most-equal” cultures – workplace environments, it helps everyone attain higher positions – compared to the “least-equal”.

Another topic from the Philippines presented Manila as a smart city and discussed the digital social participation of its inhabitants. It talked about the city of Manila on Facebook, showing how users/inhabitants engage with the city and its information. It gave an example using data from October 25 to 31, 2022, showing that Tourism, Culture and Arts are the highest engagements, followed by Disaster and Risk Services. It pointed out that good governance in a digital space is also brought to the fore. It concluded with a C.I.T.Y proposal to achieve the full potential of a highly engaged digital city based on developing Consistency, Inclusivity, Training and Yield.

From Brazil, three presentations evoked the city’s artistic, commercial and educational aspects. The first deals with structuring the Brazilian handicraft management system and comprises diagnosis and strategic planning. One of the several aspects raised in this work is the need to increase the insertion and use of digital technology in the feasibility of formalizing and training artisans and marketing via e-commerce of the artefacts they produce.

The second discusses a unified virtual space for art and crafts exhibitions. It suggests a mobile application where artisans and artists can promote their work and get in touch with customers.

Moreover, as the city in the Amazon region can take the form of villages inhabited by indigenous communities, the third topic seeks to evaluate the process of indigenous Education, considering the use of technological devices. It discusses implementing an indigenous virtual library model that will assist elementary and high school students based on crafts productions of the Munduruku of Bragança indigenous group.
Furthermore, a final presentation from Thailand brought to the debate a special touch: Discussing the city from the point of view of colours and talking about the Thai colour scheme that connotes Thai identity in packaging design for brand communication.

The Bandung-Belgrade-Havana International Conference is a part of the Bandung Spirit Conference Series, community-based conferences organised around the Bandung Spirit Ideals. It is conceived as a shared space based on a common concern on global issues among international scholars, activists of social movements, academic institutions and public services inspired by the Bandung Spirit. It is a collective work to formulate recommendations to be submitted to world political leaders. In addition to sharing academic works, speakers and participants are supposed to participate in elaborating the recommendations.

  • 1) School of Communication, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia.
  • 2) School of Communication, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia.
  • 3) Institute of Arts and Science, Far Eastern University, the Philippines.
  • 4) Department of Communication Arts, University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thailand.
  • 5) Monvadee Siripremruedee
  • 6) Faculty of Communication, University of Brasilia, Brazil.
  • 7) Department of Design, University of Brasilia, Brazil.
  • 8) Department of Design, University of Brasilia, Brazil.
  • 9) UMR 6266 CNRS IDÉES, Le Havre Normandy University, France.
  • Presentations from Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and Thailand on the digital and inclusive city at the BBH 2022 International Conference in Bandung-Indonesia.
  • In the plenary session of the BBH 2022 International Conference in Bandung: “NEFOS IS BACK!” (BRICS, NAM AND OTHER EMERGING FORCES IN A GLOBAL RESTRUCTURING”.
  • With Beatriz Bissio (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Marina Shilina (the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow), Azzah Kania Budianto and Sayf Muhammad Alaydrus (Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya and Secretariat of BBH International Conference), Rowena Capulong Reyes (FEU-Manila), Dorien Kartikawangi and Nia Sarinastiti (Atma Jaya-Jakarta)
    Rania Nuralfath (Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung and Secretariat of BBH International Conference).

Introduction to Cyber Law and Public Communication webinar, Jakarta-Le Havre

Good morning all and welcome to our second webinar in the series of Webconferences: Road to International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communication (ICCOMAC), organized by the School of Communication at Catholic University of Indonesia Atma Jaya in Jakarta and Le Havre Normandie University in France.

I am Hadi Saba Ayon, PhD. in Information and Communication Sciences at the research laboratory UMR 6266 CNRS IDEES Le Havre and I will moderate the debate in this webconference with my colleague Dr. Nia Sarinastiti from the School of Communication in Atma Jaya.

Why do we talk about digital law and public communication today? The Covid-19 pandemic, which has accelerated digital transformation in almost all areas of life, shows us every day the fragility of the digital ecosystem in which we live.

Governments, organizations and individuals find themselves at the mercy of the digital giants that dominate and control multiple digital services: coding, software development, access provision, data hosting, processing, and more.

These companies, whether American (GAFAM) [Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple et Microsoft] ou chinoises (BATX) [Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent et Xiaomi], monopolize a large part of the functions that we, digital users, need to inhabit and live in digital, described by Milad Doueihi (2011), historian of religions, philosopher and holder of the Humanum Chair, which is dedicated to digital humanism, at University of Paris Sorbonne (Paris-IV), as “virtual urbanism”, marked by hybridization, and characterized by increase and immersion.

Personalized information, which hides or on which a recommendation economy is based, is mediated by search engines, emails, communication services, social networks, shopping applications, health platforms, trade services, etc. The vast majority of its services are within the reach of digital giants.

And with digital traceability, a surveillance system is developing, threatens and harms privacy and questions the rights of individuals, organizations and even governments. In addition, it endangers our “digital life” and questions our “living together” in the information society.

Marcello Vitali-Rosati of the University of Montreal recalls that the influence of GAFAM does not depend “on digital” (as a cultural phenomenon), but on certain specific uses: those of proprietary software and hardware. He writes in his text “Being free in the digital age” (2019):

“Concretely, the scourge of which we are victims is represented by the fact that in all areas, from private life to public life through professional activity, we are encouraged to use proprietary solutions: MacOs, iOS, Windows, Word, Adobe, Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, Gmail, Outlook (…). Our life is influenced and structured by these tools without our being able to precisely understand the principles. The affordances of platforms push us to certain practices, notifications punctuate our rhythms of life, data and document formats structure the organization of our thinking; we don’t know what happens to our data and who can access it”.

According to him, “digital” does not exist as such, but there are many different practices, uses, tools and environments, based on particular principles, and promoting varied values and consequently, leading to diverse effects. This leads us to be critical of digital.

Digital companies want to sell their products, it is their rights. But what about the role of public and private institutions?

What regulations should be put in place to organize the digital space and preserve the rights of its inhabitants?

Can we guarantee a right to digital oblivion where the user can be assured that the data that he himself has decided to remove from his publication space is not kept by the platform and it will not be used?

Can we speak about “digital manners to live together” or a transliteracy to be developed to circumvent the conditions dictated by a small group of digital companies?

Louise Merzeau (2017) from Paris 10 University recalls that a culture is never limited to a know-how, it is rooted in memory, ethics and politics.

There are many issues that occupy an important place in everyone’s life today, especially in a pandemic period when digital technology complements the role of institutions in the economic, educational, health and other fields.

To discuss them, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Bénédicte Bévière-Boyer from the Department of Law at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis in France and Dr. Yuliana Wahyuningtyas from the Department of Law at Atma Jaya, who will debate about digital law and public communication.

Thank you all for your participation, and have a nice conference.

Como “manufaturar” no mundo digital?

Este texto é a intervenção de Dr. Hadi Saba Ayon na reunião do grupo de pesquisa TIPEMSE na Universidade do Estado da Bahia no Brasil sobre a “Emergência da Literacia Digital no Cenário da Sociedade Pandêmica do Séc. XXI”. 

O que é o digital? Por que manufaturar hoje no mundo digital?

Manufaturar é produzir com trabalho manual. Manufatura significa obra feita à mão.No processo manufatureiro vigora a divisão do trabalho, onde cada operário realiza uma operação utilizando instrumentos individuais. A manufatura sucedeu o artesanato, no século XV, como forma de produção e organização de trabalho[1].

Eu uso o verbo “manufaturar” como metáfora, porque o uso da tecnologia na era digital ainda passa pelas mãos. Computadores, celulares, tabletes, objetos conectados, todos esses dispositivos precisam da mão, de dedos para produzir e compartilhar um conteúdo. Mas o ecossistema digital, na sua essência e no seu funcionamento, não é manual nem opera artesanalmente. Ele é informático, computacional, binar, e consiste num conjunto de dispositivos eletrônicos (hardwares) capazes de processar informações de acordo com programas (softwares) e em rede.   

Seguindo Milad Deouihi, historiador de religiões e detentor da cátedra de humanismo digital na Universidade de Paris-Sorbonne, o digital é a ultrapassagem da tecnologia computacional para os usos culturais no mundo digital. Ele é:

Um ecossistema dinâmico animado pela normatividade algorítmica e habitado por identidades polifônicas capazes de produzir comportamentos perturbadores (Doueihi, 2013).

Este “urbanismo virtual nascente” está mudando as nossas sociedades e a construção dos espaços que habitamos. Ele se caracteriza com:

Fronteiras e limites que definem espaços íntimos ou reservados para o culto, espaços de conhecimento ou entretenimento, espaços marcados pelo uso e frequentados pela prática. “Um urbanismo híbrido, portanto, habitado por rastros, pedaços de documentos, fragmentos, mas também animado pela voz e corpo, uma temporalidade outra (Doueihi, 2011).

Brutalmente, o SARS-CoV-2 invadiu as nossas sociedades colocando a nossa civilização em perigo. A pandemia de Covid-19 nos obrigou a mudar muitos hábitos de vida. Ela impactou a interação social transformando nossos modelos de viver (morar, trabalhar, se socializar, estudar, viajar etc.). As circunstâncias dessa situação nos levam a pensar no surgimento de um novo mundo. Quais serão suas figuras? Como fazer saber, informar e comunicar? Como tomar parte e intervir em uma ação? Como compartilhar e fazer parte integrante em uma atividade, de uma comunidade? Como associar-se pelo pensamento ou sentimento? Como participar e construir uma sociedade digital e de conhecimento? Quais identidades e habilidades neste novo mundo? Quais comunidades? Quais trabalhos?

Muitas questões, que nos perguntamos, eu e o Professor Carlos Antonio Villa Guzmán da Universidade de Guadalajara no México, em nossa inciativa/texto escrito (que vai ser publicado logo) para emergir um coletivo internacional PANDEMIA, CULTURA DIGITAL E PARTICIPAÇÃO, que pensa a cultura participativa no mundo digital, pandêmico e post-pandemia.

Como explicar a cultura participativa e reinventar o nosso cotidiano? Como a pandemia redefine o nosso espaço e as estruturas arquitetônicas no ambiente digital? Mais questões para debater com um grupo de colegas em um webinário intitulado “Post pandemic, participation matters” (Pós-pandemia, questões sobre a participação) na Escola da Comunicação na Universidade Católica da Indonésia em Jacarta no final deste mês. Muitas questões, e poucas respostas até o momento.

E hoje estou com vocês no Grupo de Pesquisa TIPEMSE na Universidade do Estado da Bahia para debater sobre a “Emergência da Literacia Digital no Cenário da Sociedade Pandêmica do Séc. XXI”. Pensar a educação no digital começa para pensar o digital, não só como suporte e mídia, mas sobretudo como ambiente: Isso é o primeiro passo para uma literacia ou uma transliteracia que nós precisamos.

Seguindo Louise Merzeau, Professora e pesquisadora francesa que faleceu em 2017 e deixou um trabalho científico notável, a transliteracia se refere as:

1. Habilidades criativas e produtivas (como conceber, realizar, modificar);

2. habilidades do ambiente (buscar, achar e entender a informação, analisar uma situação ou um processo);

3. e as habilidades reflexivas (entender que os sistemas digitais tem valores, e seu uso e seu domínio permitem fazer sociedade com um olho crítico).

A transliteracia envolve 3 dimensões:

1. Uma capacidade para desenvolver competências individuais;

2. uma capacidade coletiva para agir com os outros;

3. e uma capacidade política para agir no ambiente e mudá-lo.

Neste sentido, mais de que restringir ou proteger nossos dados, nos temos interesse em fazer um rastreamento, ou seja, inserir nossos rastros digitais em uma comunidade, um contexto e uma temporalidade para sobreviver no mundo post-pandêmico e digital.


[1] No site dos Significados: