Fourth International LAVITS Symposium



Latin American Network of Surveillance, Technology and Society Studies

New surveillance paradigms? Insights from Latin America”


The Latin American Network of Surveillance, Technology and Society Studies will hold its Fourth International Symposium in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 21st-23rd November 2016, at the San Martín Cultural Centre (Centro Cultural San Martín, 1551 Sarmiento St). After the editions held in Brazil and Mexico, this will be the first time the Symposium takes place in Argentina.

Official site:

The Fourth LAVITS Symposium aims at discussing the existence of new surveillance paradigms, contributing its own views from Latin America.

The popular belief about surveillance includes the existence of spies and enormous intelligence networks devoted to following “suspected” citizens. While that surveillance paradigm may have been in effect in previous decades, the truth is that with the coming of digital technologies the costs of surveillance, both governmental and corporate, have dropped dramatically. This allows for the accumulation of data in a precautionary manner, even when there are no justified reasons for the existence of these databases.

After the World Trade Center attacks, the shift in the security narratives allowed for the inclusion of a new surveillance doctrine of “total information”. This new doctrine is diametrically opposed to any human rights principle, but the secrecy of how the information is managed and the well-oiled cooperation between the public and private sectors for the collection and processing of data, make this type of surveillance a practice that escapes public control.

The introduction of technology in many aspects of everyday life, from surveillance cameras on streets to the vast number of smart devices in our most private environments reporting data to third parties, has made surveillance more ubiquitous and invisible. The normative framework that should protect citizens in this respect, has become obsolete and the lack of accountability in the public and private sectors complicate the situation when it comes to taking action.

The challenge, as never before, is global. The data collected about a user in Latin America are transferred to a processing center in the United States to be analyzed in Europe. The new security doctrines include vague concepts, as “cyberwar”, to implement increasingly complex mechanisms for collecting digital data. Citizens are helpless regarding their ability to claim, or they are absolutely unaware of the fact that they´re being watched.

The phenomenon doesn´t occur in a uniform or equal manner everywhere, there are fundamental singularities in the context of Latin America that need to be investigated, highlighted and discussed. This is, in essence, the purpose of the Fourth LAVITS Symposium.

We invite researchers, professors, activists and artists to submit their abstracts or proposals to the Fourth LAVITS International Symposium in any of the following key topics:

  • Security doctrine and intelligence services
  • Surveillance, space and territory
  • Identification and biometrics
  • The seduction of numbers: decisions based on algorithms and Big Data
  • New challenges in the protection of personal data
  • Corporate surveillance
  • Cultural dimensions of surveillance
  • Resistance and counter surveillance
  • Art, surveillance and technology

NOTE: Unfortunately, we do not have any line of financial support for selected proposals. Everyone participating in the conference as attendees or presenters are asked to assume their own expenses.

Presentation of abstracts and proposals

The Symposium will accept proposals until August 19th in different formats. Workshops, art exhibitions/interventions, works in writing and/or panel discussions.

Workshop proposals should include: Name of the workshop, description of the workshop (in up to 300 words), audience it is addressed to and special requirements for the workshop, if any (projector, tables, or others).

The proposals for the art exhibitions/interventions should include: title of the exhibition/intervention, medium of the artwork, description of the work (in up to 300 words) and requirements for exhibition/intervention (outline of media and materials needed).

Abstracts should be up to 300 words with three to five keywords. Whoever wishes to organize and coordinate a panel discussion, should submit their proposal describing the general topic of the panel (in up to 500 words) and details of the panelists, including their full name and a brief description that justifies their inclusion in the panel. In that case, whoever proposes him or herself as coordinator is responsible of contacting the panelists and guaranteeing their presence on the day of the event.

The format for the presentation of abstracts and proposals will be the same in both cases. The format should be: 12 points font size for the body of the text, 1.5 line-spacing, justified. The proposal should include: the title of the presentation, panel discussion, art exhibition/intervention or workshop; personal details of the speaker/artist/workshop leader/coordinator (full name, institution they represent, title and e-mail). The format for the presentation should be: title of the work, personal details and description or abstract, as required.

The work proposals can be sent in Spanish, Portuguese or English. The abstracts can be submitted in PDF, .doc or .odt formats to info at

Once the abstract is accepted, the deadline for the presentation of the full-text is October 30th.

Information on the event is available at For any other information or enquiries, you can write to info at


LAVITS Abrir en una ventana nueva

logo-negativo-2-en-smallThe Lavits research network aims to become a means for discussion and exchange of knowledge and debate around sociotechnical circumstances that enable the capture, storage, management and cross-checking of information, especially, of personal data. The massive presence of these technologies in Latin America, in daily life, has not been accompanied by public debate, social movements, academic research or by appropriate legislation. This alone, highlights the importance of creating a space for exchanging information and experiences in order to stimulate debate and research on topics related to the use of surveillance technologies. 

Vía Libre foundation

logo_fundacion13Founded in the year 2000, Vía Libre is a non-profit organization from Argentina, dedicated to the defense of civil rights in technology-mediated environments. Within its field of study are issues related to privacy, surveillance, free software (libre software), intellectual property, freedom of speech on the Internet and electronic voting.

Technology, Culture and Politics Division of the Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Buenos AiresAbrir en una ventana nueva

logoThe Technology, Culture and Politics Division was created in 2014 by a group of professors, students and researchers within the Communication Sciences degree program of the Faculty of Social Sciences, at the Buenos Aires University. From the hypothesis of a mutual conditioning between technical and social phenomena, it proposes to develop and support research, as well as part-take in debates, that address the analysis of communicational, cultural, aesthetic and political phenomena were the technological dimension appears as constitutive; from the study of the relations between technologies of power and biotechnologies, to the cultural analysis of new artistic genres as BioArt, as well as the new surveillance and control strategies, the present dynamics of the appropriation of knowledge and the political, economic and social uses of social media, among other topics.

Organizing Team
  • • Pablo Esteban Rodríguez
    • Laura Siri
    • Beatriz Busaniche
    • Flavia Costa
    • Fernanda Bruno
    • Camilo Enrique Ríos Rozo
    • Andrés Pérez Esquivel
    • Priscilla Calmon / Luciana Albuquerque
    • Sarah Costa Schmidt
    • Marta Kanashiro
FordLogosheet_A_2009[FOR PRINT ONLY]



Other research groups, labs and post graduate programs joining us: