General disenchantment with the functioning of politics has coincided with an apparent revitalisation of public space by means of the new digital media and social networks. Voices have proliferated, new relationships have been forged and new spaces for meetings and exchanges have been shaped, while the older hierarchies of knowledge production and diffusion are in crisis. However, it remains to be asked whether this extended public space can function as a true sphere for collective deliberation and action that might have a real impact in political decision making. This question is still more pressing when the communication that really does have consequences seems to circulate through increasingly opaque circuits and the traditional media are subject not only to an unprecedented economic crisis but also one of legitimacy. What kind of new public sphere is being constructed as a result of changes in the media milieu? Can a constellation of small, more or less organised media systems or groups act as a counterbalance to political and economic power? Will the voices that speak in this new digital universe have sufficient prestige, independence, influence and diffusion to be able to generate real public opinion? What will the “fourth estate” be like in the future?
Monday 12 November, at 7.30 p.m.
«MISUNDERSTANDING THE INTERNET AND DEMOCRACY»
James Curran is the director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Presented by: Vicent Partal, journalist, director of VilaWeb.
Monday 19 November, at 7.30 p.m.
«UNLIKE US: FROM FACEBOOK CRITIQUE TO ALTERNATIVES IN SOCIAL MEDIA»
Geert Lovink is Research Professor of Interactive Media at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Professor of Media Theory at the European Graduate School, and Associate Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam. Presented by: Karma Peiró, a journalist specialising in Internet and new technologies and lecturer in the Faculty of Communication at Blanquerna – Ramon Llull University.
Tuesday 27 November, at 7.30 p.m.
«SOMETHING TO SEE HERE: COUNTERVISUALITY, NEW MEDIA AND THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT»
Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communications at New York University and a leading theorist in contemporary visual culture. Presented by: Anna Maria Guasch, Professor of History of Art at the University of Barcelona and art critic.
Friday 30 November, at 7.30 p.m.
«REFLECTIONS ON THE ARAB SPRING: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH #FREEDOM?»
Panel discussion with Samuel Aranda, photojournalist, and Leila Nachawati, a human rights activist and lecturer in Communications at Carlos III University, Madrid. Moderator: Mayte Carrasco, free-lance war reporter, specialist in Arab revolutions, and novelist.
Tuesday 4 December, at 7.30 p.m.
«HOW CAN WE KEEP THE NEW DIGITAL INTERMEDIARIES IN CHECK?»
Evgeny Morozov is a writer and researcher who studies political and social implications of technologyis a writer and researcher who studies political and social implications of technology. Presented by: Albert Sáez, deputy editor of El Periódico and a lecturer in the Faculty of Communications, Blanquerna – Ramon Llull University.