26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum

The most rapid development is happening in the area of digital technologies. We expected them to bring convenience, ease our communication, smooth transactions and contribute to our general well-being. The difference between a taxi driver getting jobs via a mobile app and a global stockbroker trading using his cell phone suggests that this has not happened. The technology boom takes place in all possible ways which have one thing in common. They are driven by erratic technical capabilities and the sovereign interests of private actors. The broader social benefit is fading in the background and a framework to promote communal interest is lacking. We have a choice – to let digital technologies grow wild like a forest and allow them to determine our chances of survival, or to figure out ways to channel technology to shape a more participatory, inclusive and just world.

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29

10:00–⁠11:00 AM
Technologies of Hopes and Fears
Marek Tuszynski on digital technologies in pandemic times

A pandemic changes everything. The time it shapes becomes exceptional, and in exceptional times things tend to happen that might not have happened otherwise. Technology is always about trade-offs and desires. Technologies of Hope & Fear is a project documenting a selection of hundreds of proposed technological solutions to the pandemic and its consequences. In this talk, Marek Tuszynski will reveal 10 inspiring ways to think about techno-solutionism, because we need to be inventive and creative about how we look at and decipher what is often presented as the thing that will solve something else. Are pandemic technologies about controlling the virus, or about controlling the host?

GuestMarek Tuszynski

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12:00–⁠1:30 PM
Fight for the Digital Space
Panel discussion on digital space between democratization and community, and between consumption and profit

Until recently, we associated the internet and digital technologies with equal access and opportunity, democratisation and transparency. However, with the growing influence of global corporations, the principles of capitalism have been reinforced, and with a much greater intensity than in the off-line world. Are there tools to move digital space towards the fulfilment of citizenship, community life and democratic principles? How can we benefit from it together instead of being consumed?

GuestsTimo Daum, Marie Heřmanová, Martin Tremčinský
Moderated byPatrik Eichler

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2:30–⁠4:00 PM
Gain without Pain
Conversation on the fourth industrial revolution and the prospects of labour

The program will be broadcasted live from the Inspiration Forum stage.

It seemed that we had reached the “end of the line” in terms of labour rights in most European countries and that we have fair conditions, stable and reasonable working hours, career advancement and decent wages. The Fourth Industrial Revolution sets history in motion again. Digitisation, robotics and automation of not only manual activities deprives masses of all of these certainties. Every revolution eventually transforms the system. Now the question is how not to leave this transformation only up to industrial progress, but to reshape the system so that humans can lead a dignified life – with or without work.

GuestNick Srnicek*
Moderated byPetr Bittner

*Nick Srnicek will join us live from London.

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5:00–⁠6:30 PM
Taming Wild Data
Keynote conversation with Jeanette Hofmann and discussion on how to make digital platforms serve the common good

In their early days, digital platforms seemed to be the saviours of trade, business and the labour market because that is where providers meet their clients without any intermediaries. However, the developments around applications such as Uber and Airbnb have shown that social risks are far less abstract than they would appear over colourful interfaces. By regulating themselves, platforms would dig their own grave, but what can the EU, individual states and the users do?

Keynote conversation withJeanette Hofmann
GuestsAlžběta KrausováVladimír Špidla
Moderated byKateřina Smejkalová

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7:30–⁠9:00 PM
Scrolling to Rock Bottom
Panel discussion on the impact of digital technology on mental health

We already know that digital technologies alone will not bring democracy and equality into the public space. But they also affect us on the individual level. As a result of their use, a significant number of users suffer increasingly more often from feelings of depression, alienation and loneliness. How can we maintain our mental health if we cannot choose not to use them? How to prevent digital addictions and make technological tools our good servants?

GuestsKateřina Lukavská, Karolína Presová, Michaela Slussareff
Moderated byHana Řičicová

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GUESTS

Petr Bittner (Czech Republic)

Journalist and commentator for the Deník Referendum online daily. He studied philosophy, media studies and journalism. During the 2017 Czech parliamentary elections, he served as head of communications for the Green Party. After the crushing defeat, he relocated to Brno, where he worked as a media advisor for Brno-based social projects and he also became a father. He is one of the two percent of people who receive parental allowance and are men at the same time. In 2019, he received the Genderman award for promoting equal conditions for women and men. He currently works as a policy advisor and also in the Když práce nešlechtí project of the NaZemi organisation, which explores the contemporary development of the phenomenon of labour. In 2020, he translated the book Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams.

Timo Daum (Germany)

Expert on digital economy and lecturer in the field of business informatics and digital transformation. His main focus is the analysis and criticism of digital capitalism. He is particularly concerned with the topic of platform capitalism in transport and methods of agile management. Since 2004 he has been working as a lecturer in the areas of online, computer science and digital economy at universities of applied sciences in Germany and abroad, currently he teaches at the University of Hildesheim and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden. His book We're Capital: On the Critique of the Digital Economy received the Political Book of the Year award from Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in 2018.

Patrik Eichler (Czech Republic)

Journalist and moderator. He is the deputy director of the Masaryk Democratic Academy (MDA) and the editor of the bimonthly periodical Listy. He also worked for Literární noviny (2007–2009) and as a spokesperson for the Minister for Human Rights (2016–2017). He focuses on political programming and both Czech and Central European politics.

Marie Heřmanová (Czech Republic)

Social anthropologist and journalist. She is currently working at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences and at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University. Her research focuses on online identities and communities, influencer culture and gender inequalities in the online world. She also focuses on the online spread of hate speech and conspiracy theories and political radicalization on social networks. She is a member of the applied anthropological research studio Anthropictures and regularly contributes to various Czech media.

Jeanette Hofmann (Germany)

Political scientist, professor of Internet Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin. She has founded and currently is a director of Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. She conducts research at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) on topics such as internet governance and policy, transnational regulation, emergence of policy fields or digital society. She is a head of the WZB research group “Politics of Digitalization” which investigates how today’s societies make sense of and shape the digital transformation. She was a researcher at the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation of London School of Economics and Political Science from 2007 to 2010 and served as an expert member of the Parliamentary Enquiry Commission on Internet and Digital Society of the German Bundestag from 2010 to 2013.

Alžběta Krausová (Czech Republic)

Researcher at the Institute of State and Law at the Czech Academy of Sciences, leader of the project Centre for Innovation Research and Cybergovernance (CICeRo). She is a member of the Expert Group on Accountability and New Technologies at the European Commission, the OECD ONE AI Expert Network and the Working Group on Human Rights and Modern Technologies of the Human Rights Council of the Czech Government. She co-founded the Czech Women in AI initiative and in 2021 also served as an intergovernmental expert for UNESCO in negotiations on the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. Her research focuses on the legal aspects of AI and related fields, robotics, brain-computer interfaces, and merging technology with organic life.

Kateřina Lukavská (Czech Republic)

She studied Psychology and Special Education at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University. She works at the Department of Psychology at the Pedagogical Faculty Charles University and at the Clinic of Addictology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University. She is generally interested in quantitative research designs and statistical methods of data processing in psychology. In her research she focuses mainly on modern technologies, their safe as well as risky use (digital addictions, FOMO, etc.).

Karolína Presová (Czech Republic)

Lecturer in digital hygiene and digital well-being and author of the Replug me project, which creates workshops and programmes that put people back in control over the online world and help them manage the risks of digital addiction. She trains school children, parents, as well as businesses and individuals on how to use digital technology in a healthy and meaningful way. For its innovative solutions and results, the project has been listed among the most socially beneficial projects in Czechia. Her workshops were covered in Respekt weekly, Hospodářské noviny daily and in reports and interviews on Czech Television or Czech Radio, with which she collaborated on their digital detox programmes.

Hana Řičicová (Czech Republic)

Author of the podcast for Czech newsmagazine Respekt, for whose website she also prepares the series How are you? with Czech artists and interesting people. She studied journalism and media and works as a moderator at Radio Wave. She is part of the dramaturgical team of the multi-genre festival Luhovaný Vincent.

Michaela Slussareff (Czech Republic)

A graduate in Social Sciences and Andragogy, she works as an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Information Studies and Librarianship, Faculty of Arts, Charles University. Her research work focuses on the negative and positive effects of technology on children's development and healthy family functioning. She is conducting several national and international researches on the impact of digital media on school and preschool children. In addition, she is also the Head of Slow Tech Institute, bringing together experts who are concerned with new technologies and the sociological, psychological or physiological phenomena associated therewith. In addition to her academic and teaching career, she co-founded M77, a non-profit organization dedicated to projects that use new technologies in education and artistic work.

Kateřina Smejkalová (Czech Republic)

Researcher at the German public think-tank Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and publicist. She focuses mainly on social implications of technology, work and its future, commenting on current events in Germany. She has studied German and political science at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany.

Nick Srnicek (Canada)

Lecturer in Digital Economy at King’s College in London. His most recent book, Platform Capitalism, sets out a framework for understanding the novelties of businesses like Google, Amazon, and Alibaba – as well as how digital platforms generate new tendencies within our economies. His work is also engaged in the long tradition of anti-work politics. His first book, Inventing the Future (co-written with Alex Williams), was an attempt to elaborate an anti-work politics in the context of modern technological changes. His forthcoming book, After Work (co-
written with Helen Hester), seeks to expand anti-work politics into the field of social reproduction by looking at how the often unwaged work of cleaning, cooking, and caring can be recognised, redistributed, and reduced.

Vladimír Špidla (Czech Republic)

A social democratic politician and director of the educational institute – the Masaryk Democratic Academy. He is a former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (2004-2010), Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (2002-2004) and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs (1998-2002). He studied history at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. He focuses on the future of labour, climate and energy transformation and the necessary social and public policy responses. Among his topics of interest is also the impact of artificial intelligence on the operation of political parties and society.

Martin Tremčinský (Czech Republic)

Since 2017, he has been a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University. His dissertation thesis focuses on cryptocurrencies from the perspective of economic anthropology, with an emphasis on social structures enabled by these technologies. Apart from cryptocurrencies, he also concentrates on the issue of foreclosures and over-indebtedness, and regularly contributes to the online journal A2larm.

Marek Tuszynski (Germany)

Creative Director and co-founder of Tactical Tech, an international NGO that engages with citizens and civil-society organisations to explore and mitigate the impacts of technology on society. He produces creative and social interventions that span across various media, from film and radio to television, books, exhibitions and the web. For the past 30 years, he has been working at the nexus of technology and politics, information and activism and the consequences of living in a quantified society. His most recent documentary series for Tactical Tech, Exposing the Invisible explores the digital tools and tactics that now enable evidence-based activism to thrive on an unprecedented scale. He is also co-founder of the creative agency Tactical Studios, co-curator of the exhibition Nervous Systems: Quantified Life and the Social Question and The Glass Room co-author of the books Visualising Information for Advocacy about how advocates and activists use visual elements in their campaigns and Efficiency And Madness: Using Data and Technology to Solve Social, Environmental and Political Problems.

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FILM SELECTION

Images can speak louder than words. Check out our selection of films from the Ji.hlava IDFF’s festival programme.

GLOBAL ILLUMINATION (Czech Republic, 2020, Artur Magrot)
MODERN TIMES (Czech Republic, France, 2020, Vladimír Turner)
ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES (Japan, United States, 2021, Abigail Child)
USERS (United States, Mexico, 2021, Natalia Almada)
ALL LIGHT, EVERYWHERE (United States, 2021, Theo Anthony)

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READING LIST

If you want to delve deeper into the topic, here is a selection of the most interesting texts and other resources recommended by the programme guests, which are definitely worth the read!

TECHNOLOGIES OF HOPE: 100 RESPONSES TO THE PANDEMIC
IF guest Mark Tuszinski's Tactical Tech has been implementing an interactive research project that explores the impact of technology on society. It features hundreds of data-driven technology projects that were created or adapted in response to the covid-19 pandemic to observe, capture, mitigate, or modify the behaviour of the coronavirus and its (potential) carriers. The project’s authors pose the question: do these technological solutions succeed in controlling the virus – or only in controlling the host?

COLLABORATIVE SOCIETY WITH DARIUSZ JEMIELNIAK AND ALEKSANDRA PRZEGALINSKA (THE MIT PRESS PODCAST)
In their recent book Collaborative Society, authors Dariusz Jemielniak and Aleksandra Przegalińska examine the emergence of a new kind of social collaboration enabled by networked technologies. The book covers “sharing economy,” and the hijacking of the term by corporations; different models of peer production, and motivations to participate; collaborative media production and consumption and more. They discuss these topics in an episode of the MIT Press podcast.

LUCAS CHANCEL: UNSUSTAINABLE INEQUALITIES (BELKNAP PRESS)
Jan Bittner: “Lucas Chanel's book Unsustainable Inequalities is not so much a new insight, but a structured reminder of the risks involved in addressing the climate crisis, namely that not only the impacts of climate change, but also most of the costs of preventing it will be borne by poorer people. Thus, if climate rescue is to have democratic support, those who produce higher pollution and have the means to take preventive action must be actively engaged. The David McWilliams Podcast is a regular programme by the Irish economist who reflects on current issues with distinguished guests from the world of economics. Among his favourite topics is the housing crisis. David McWilliams shows that common sense doesn't have to be a rhetorical figure.”

VÁCLAV JANOŠČÍK: WORK WITHOUT LABOUR DOESN’T CONTRADICT THE CONCEPT OF DEGROWTH (KOLAPS)
In their book Inventing the Future, which was translated into English earlier this year, authors Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams attempt to offer a new vision of leftist politics that goes beyond the logic of classical protest movements and incorporates the development of new technologies into its thinking. The authors of the Collapse podcast spoke with philosopher Václav Janoščík about the book and the political thinking of Srnicek and Williams.

ANTHROPOLOGY NOW
"Anthropology Now is a magazine aimed at making anthropological research accessible to the public outside academia; the American Anthropology Association has a whole library of podcasts, the Anthropology Department at University College London has great communication and resources – their latest project is about smartphones and ageing. Last but not least, the Guardian recently recommended ten books on ‘everyday anthropology’ that anyone without an anthropology background can read."

BLOCKCHAIN SOCIALIST (PODCAST)
Martin Tremčinský: “To those who are interested in the digitalization of money, I would definitely recommend the new book by American anthropologist Lana Swartz “New Money: How Payment Became Social Media”. It does not provide much new theoretical insight into the subject, but it summarizes the current developments in the field of digitalization of money and payments in a very clear and readable way. The second publication that takes an interesting look at cryptocurrencies is the essay “Cryptocommunism” by French philosopher Mark Alizart. Although you can (and should) argue or even outright disagree with the book at various places, this piece is a refreshing read that stands out above the monotonous series of libertarian publications reiterating the dogma of the free market as an “instrument of secular salvation”. In the same vein is the podcast the Blockchain Socialist, which brings interesting interviews with leftist personalities from the international crypto scene.”

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