Uncertain Archives: Adapting Cultural Theories of the Archive to Understand the Risks and Potentials of Big Data – University of Copenhagen

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Daniela Agostinho

Daniela Agostinho


Daniela Agostinho is a visual and cultural theorist whose research is concerned with representations of historical violence, from colonialism to contemporary warfare, with a particular focus on feminist and decolonial perspectives on visual digital culture. 

She is a postdoc affiliated with the Uncertain Archives research group (www.uncertainarchives.dk). She studied Media and Culture Studies in Lisbon and Berlin. She holds a PhD (2014) in Culture Studies with a dissertation on the photographic records of Ravensbrück women's concentration camp, in which she discussed the relation between visibility, archival reason, gender and disciplinary power. Before joining Uncertain Archives as a postdoc, she was a Lecturer in the MA in PhD programs in Culture Studies at Catholic University of Portugal, where she taught courses in Performativity and Visual Culture. 

Her main areas of interest are Cultural Theory, Visual Culture, Feminist Theory, Film and Moving Image Studies, and Digital Culture. She currently works on the politics of digitization of colonial archives, the visual culture of remote warfare, in particular drone warfare, and cultural theories of big data, in particular feminist and post and decolonial critiques of datafication. 

She is also an independent curator, having recently curated the Lisbon leg of Artists Film International at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon, 2017) and '13 Shots', solo show by Aimée Zito Lema at Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon (with Luisa Santos and Ana Cachola, 2018). 

In addition to Uncertain Archives, she is affiliated with two networks: Algorithmic Software Cultures and Research Network on Drones and Aesthetics


Current research

In my research I examine digital and big data environments through cultural theories of the archive, in particular feminist and decolonial perspectves of archival reason. I currently work on two research interests: one is the ethical implications of the digital display of colonial archives, and how processes of digitization recast the structure and possibilities of the archive in digital times; and a second one on the politics of visualizing remote warfare, in particular drone warfare, and how the visual culture of remote warfare repurposes gendered and colonial modes of representation and governance. 

Primary fields of research

Visual culture, cultural theory, feminist and decolonial theories, film and moving image studes 

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