Capture and Consent

Capture & Consent: Images and Stories in Digital Research Cultures

Date and Time:
Friday, November 8th 2019
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT

McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology
39 Queen’s Park Crescent East
Toronto, ON M5S 2C3


Max Liboiron, Zack Marshall, Simona Ramkisson, Jennifer Wemigwans, Jasmine Rault, and T.L. Cowan,

What are the digital research practices and protocols emerging from Indigenous, Black, anti-racist trans- feminist and queer science, technology, health, media and cultural studies? The conditions of compelled consent by which the cultural works of minoritized people are ‘captured’ online (through Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc.) seem to complement long-standing colonial academic research conventions of shifty/dodgy consent in capturing minoritized people’s images, stories, cultural works and knowledges. In such a context, what kinds of strategies, attention and care-fullness do we need to cultivate as custodians of images and stories in our research, and in digital (research) culture broadly? How are researchers in these fields redefining practices and processes of consent in a digital cultural context?

Please join us in a conversation led by:

Max Liboiron is a feminist environmental scientist, science and technology studies (STS) scholar, and activist. As an Assistant Professor in Geography at Memorial University, Liboiron directs Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a feminist, anticolonial laboratory that specializes in grassroots environmental monitoring of marine plastic pollution. An in-progress manuscript, Pollution is Colonialism, uses CLEAR and plastic pollution as case studies articulate pollution as a form of colonialism.

Zack Marshall is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University. Building on a history of community work in the areas of HIV, harm reduction, and mental health, Zack’s research explores interdisciplinary connections between public engagement, knowledge production, and research ethics in queer and trans communities using digital methods. Current projects that address these themes are: Knowsy, An accessible online portal for LGBTQ2S+ knowledge synthesis including systematic reviews and scoping studies, and Shift, a project exploring labour practices in participatory research across the social sciences, natural sciences, and health.

Simona Ramkisson is the Manager of Community Development, at the Wikimedia Foundation (organization that supports Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects) where she leads the foundation’s community development efforts to support emerging communities and community leaders. Prior to joining the Wikimedia Foundation, she led the Mozilla Foundation’s city-based learning project, Hive Toronto. In her role as director, she supported the development of unique education opportunities with a focus on web and digital literacy and for-community, by-community cyber-safety curriculum building. She currently sits on the Right to Play Youth 2 Youth program advisory board and the YWCA’s Project Shift ICTC roundtable. Simona hold as Hons.BA in Criminology from York University with a focus on restorative justice practice. As a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Transformative Facilitation and the Art of Leadership program, she actively works to bring a social justice scope to the world.

Dr. Jennifer Wemigwans is a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, located on Manitoulin Island.  She is a new media producer, writer and scholar specializing in the convergence between education, Indigenous knowledge and new media technologies. Her book A Digital Bundle: Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Knowledge Online (2018) explores the prospects of education and digital projects in a networked world.  Dr. Wemigwans takes pride in working to invert the conventional use of media by revealing the potential for Indigenous cultural expression and Indigenous knowledge through new technologies, education and the arts.

Jas Rault and TL Cowan are co-directors of the Trans Feminist Queer Digital Praxis Workshop (TFQ DPW), including the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory (DREC, and the Cabaret Commons (

This event is a collaboration between the Trans- Feminist Queer Digital Praxis Workshop and the Technoscience Research Unit for the McLuhan Centre Working Group, Consent & Its Discontents:

The Consent and Its Discontents Working Group expands visions of consent praxis beyond the narrow practices that structure our daily digital lives at the university, such as Terms of Service, university ethics protocols, and developer-led community consultations. Our Working Group looks to theories of consent as developed by Indigenous feminist, queer, mad, and diasporic communities as well as to grassroots organizations, Indigenous youth organizations, and sex workers who manifest, craft, and advocate for thicker and more relational understandings and practices of consent. Our Working Group asks: What practices of permission and processual consent have communities already built that can be brought to bear on digital practices? How can we learn across different protocols and efforts to create communities of meaningful and ongoing consent? As scholars, artists, and activists meeting in Tkaranto, Indigenous feminist consent practices that connect body and land together (Native Youth Sexual Health Network) are crucial for identifying the limits and constraints of current conventional practices and imaginaries concerning data ethic. Through reciprocal relationships, cotheorization, and public-facing conversations structured to call in the community members in attendance to contribute, the Content and Its Discontents Working Group will produce a toolkit of alternative praxes and methodologies of consent in order to contribute to digital justice research and relationships in Tkaranto.