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Daniela Agostinho is a visual and cultural theorist working on the aesthetics and politics of colonial archives, the media aesthetics of late modern warfare, and critical studies of digital culture and emerging technologies.
Her main areas of research and teaching are cultural theory, visual culture, feminist, postcolonial and decolonial studies, and digital culture.
She currently leads the project "Archival Encounters: Ethics of Care, Curatorial Practice and Postcolonial Digital Archives" (2018-2021), funded by a Mads Øvlisen fellowship awarded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
She is affiliated with the Uncertain Archives research collective.
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. Before joining the University of Copenhagen, she was a Lecturer in the MA in PhD programs in Culture Studies at Catholic University of Portugal.
She is also active in artistic and curatorial research. She is an independent curator, having recently curated the exhibition and public programme Fleshing Out the Image (Porto, 2020); '13 Shots', solo show by Aimée Zito Lema at Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon (with Luisa Santos and Ana Cachola, 2018); and Artists Film International at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon, 2017, in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London).
She is co-editor of three books: Uncertain Archives: Critical Keywords for Big Data (with Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Catherine D'Ignazio, Annie Ring and Kristin Veel, MIT Press, 2021); (W)Archives: Archival Imaginaries, War, and Contemporary Art (with Solveig Gade, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup and Kristin Veel, Sternberg Press, 2020) and The Uncertain Image (with Ulrik Ekman, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup and Kristin Veel, Routledge 2019).
Her research has been published in journals such as Philosophy of Photography, Big Data & Society, ephemera: theory & politics in organization, Digital Creativity, Senses & Society, the Nordic Journal of information Science & Cultural Mediation, amongst others.
My current project is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation through a Mads Øvlisen postdoctoral fellowship (2018-2021). The project is entitled "Archival Encounters: Ethics of Care, Curatorial Practice and Postcolonial Digital Archives" and is concerned with image ethics and digitization of colonial archives. The project theorizes the impact of digitization upon the ethics of virwership in relation to colonial archives, with a particular focus on the colonial archives of the US Virgin Islands.
Archival Encounters: Ethics of Care, Curatorial Practice and Postcolonial Digital Archives
Archival Encounters is a research project dedicated to thinking about the cultural, ethical and political effects of digitising colonial archives. The project investigates the limitations and possibilities of knowing with and beyond the colonial archive, and seeks to cultivate modalities of engagement with colonial archives that address the gaps elicited by digitisation.
The project was prompted by the recent digitisation of the Danish colonial archives of the United States Virgin Islands (formerly known as the Danish West Indies) and by the need to foster critical and imaginative conversations about the conditions through which communities collectively encounter colonial archives today.
Archival Encounters suggests that a critical understanding of the conditions under which archives circulate today needs to be grounded in critical, inventive and reparative approaches to archives advanced by the fields of postcolonial studies, African diaspora studies and critical archival studies, as well as by artistic engagements with colonial legacies. The project seeks to foster dialogue between these fields and to generate new knowledge and practices in collaboration with researchers and artists from Denmark and the United States Virgin Islands.
You can read more about the project and follow its activities at archivalencounters.com.
Primary fields of research
Visual culture, cultural theory, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, digital culture, media aesthetics, feminist technology studies, feminist and postcolonial digital humanities.