Data Governance, Collective Autonomy, Decolonial Thinking
Sebastián’s doctoral research examines the politics underpinning the governance of large volumes of data from the perspective of collective autonomy put forward by communities in Latin America whose livelihood has been threatened by modernity. In relation to current debates, Sebastián’s proposal calls for decentring the principles of openness and sovereignty and aligns with ongoing work on data colonialism. The thesis draws on the case of astronomy data in Chile, where a broad range of local actors see the informational resources being produced by the international mega observatories constructed in the Atacama Desert as an opportunity for scientific, technological and economic progress. Sebastián’s empirical analysis describes the reconfiguration of discourses and political economies of collaboration, extractivism and indigenous territorial struggles in times of datafication.
Supervisors: Professor Nick Couldry and Dr Alison Powell
Sebastián is an integrante of Tierra Común, a network of scholars and activists opposing data colonialism. He worked as a research assistant at Virt-EU, an interdisciplinary EU-funded project that analysed the ethical practices of Internet of Things communities. Sebastián studied Journalism at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and graduated with Distinction in MSc in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. His master’s dissertation looked at the understanding of freedom held by activists of the Tor digital anonymity network. Sebastián has professional experience in digital communications in Chile.