This panel will examine the narratives and biases that have impacted PDA in the past, and approaches that some are taking to push the needle towards social justice, including citizen documentation.
Citizen documentation is increasingly becoming inextricable from the work of many activist and social justice communities. This documentation can act as counter-evidence, a way of speaking back to the means and methods of evidence gathering by the state. Over the past few years, citizen documentation of fatal encounters with police have served as a catalyst for many overlapping communities, exposing the urgency of confronting police violence, the techno-utopian allure of surveillance technologies and the speed with which technologies of dissemination can disperse, disconnect and re-contextualize.
Building tools for collecting, authenticating, organizing, storing and accessing myriad forms and formats of documentation within proposes both challenges and opportunities and with instances of police violence we must confront the ways in which calls for authentication might force us to operate within the juridical framework of evidentiary value or whether we need to redefine evidentiary value in community terms. Recordings made with a smart phone are certainly personal digital records, but they immediately become embroiled in a network of legal and technological issues through the use of corporately owned infrastructures and through evidence law to name a few.Andrea Pritchett, co-founder of Berkeley Copwatch, Robin Margolis, UCLA MLIS in Media Archives, and Ina Kelleher, PhD student in Comparative Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, will present a proposed design for a digital archive aggregating different sources of documentation toward the goal of tracking individual officers. Copwatch chapters operate from a framework of citizen documentation of the police as a practice of community-driven accountability and de-escalation.