Digital Literacies in the Global South: From The Celebratory Discourse To Capitalist Colonization


The last 50 years, the use of the Internet has become widespread. During the pandemic, digital infrastructure and Internet connections were given to students of basic and higher education so that they could turn their private space into home schooling. However, as Avila (2020) warns us “over the past nearly fifty years, the architecture of the Internet has changed from a largely democratic network of autonomous nodes to a distributed feudal structure, which centralises flows of data into a few hands” (p. 47). Digital culture is constituted in most of the cases by celebratory discourses of equality, diversity, freedom of speech and democracy. On the other hand, the more people adhere to the platformization of our lives, the richer the owners of these platforms become. Avila (2020) is keen on studying “this process of how dominant countries within a global system benefit from the digitisation of poor and middle-income countries in what appears to be a new form of colonialism” (p. 47). Thus, digital colonialism perpetuates the coloniality of knowledge, of power and of being by using epistemologies that seek the concentration of digital know-how in very few places, such as the Silicon Valley, while countries in the Global South are users of platforms and softwares whose source code and algorithms they are forbidden to know. In this study we show that the ongoing process of digitalization is entangled with and led by the logic of colonialism and its ensuing coloniality of power, knowledge, and being (MIGNOLO; WALSH, 2018).


Souzana Mizan
Professor of English Language Studies, Language Department, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Literacies Learning


Digital, Literacies, Global South, Capitalism, Colonization

Digital Media

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