Decolonline is where you can share your thoughts on activism, new media and technology. As the name implies, the blog seeks to decolonize the online world.
We are five students from the Communication for Development Masters Program at Malmö University in Sweden. We aim to create a community where we help encourage each other to push the discourse forward regarding online activism, new media and technology. The purpose is to help both us and our visitors to find new narratives and new knowledge that is not mainstream in the western, patriarchal, capitalist societies of the Global North.
Our common colonial heritage is still highly present in the power structures around the world, exacerbating inequalities in contemporary online activism, new media and technology. Therefore, we set out to decolonize the online world. Please share our blog with friends that are interested in these issues, and share your thoughts on activism, new media and technology by commenting on our posts.
Having said that, we also tried to reflect our concerns and ideas into our blog’s visual language. More specifically, we selected the main blog colors to be black, white, and the in-between shades of grey, in order to visually represent the digital divides and the polarization that are still present in our societies, but also to suggest that there is a need for more nuanced debates and shades of gray. We also used a related font family, called Ebrima, that takes into consideration the specific needs of the African writing systems. Similarly, we selected a particular blog theme, called Roseta, that is, on one hand, minimal and readable, but on the other, it also carries strong cultural and anti-colonial connotations, as the name refers to the famous stone that has been stolen from Egypt by the British Empire.
Furthermore, the design decisions behind the logo were based on our desire to make the audience to think differently and critically towards the desired decolonization process. Based on the notions of Culture Jamming and Detournement, as well as on the America Invertida by J.T.Garcia, we used as a starting point a western and dominant representation of a world map, which has the western countries on the top and center, and we subverted it by presenting the globe in an upside down manner. By doing so, we wanted to disrupt the mainstream and subconscious way that one reads this popular culture artefact, with an overall goal to create the space and the opportunity for the target audience to stop and critically reflect on such a hijacked representation.
All in all, we hope that our visual language will raise some important questions about the need for decolonizing the online world by challenging the established power relations and the dominant discourses in the development sector.
Read our welcome post and welcome to our blog!