Skip to content Skip to main navigation

What do we mean when we say ‘content moderation’?

Digital Censorship, Surveillance, and Creative Workers

An interdisciplinary symposium on freedom of expression in the age of digital censorship and surveillance

Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, 2019

View the program brochure

Watch videos of speakers

Registration is required for both days. Click here to purchase your ticket!

$20 general admission, May 25
$15 students / under-waged admission, May 25
Free admission, May 26

Additional information at

Click here to donate to the crowdfunding campaign!

This interdisciplinary symposium addresses urgent concerns regarding control of digital space within and beyond the art and creative communities in Canadian and international contexts. It explores how artists and creators can contribute to a more ethical web. Some of the key topics of the symposium include:

  • examples of activism against censorship and surveillance in the arts in the Canadian and international context
  • examples of the current artist- and tech-involved initiatives of “taking back the web”
  • and potential empowering alternatives in the digital sphere

The symposium will explore three approaches as examples of artist- and tech-involved activism against two main and interconnected systems of oppression: artists as developers/co-developers of the Web’s Infrastructure; artistic “gestures” as activism against online censorship and surveillance; and storytelling— changing narratives through technology and science fiction.


Featured Speakers and Co-facilitators:

Jillian C. York [Berlin] (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Skawennati [Montreal] (Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace)

Mathias Jud [Berlin] (Can you hear me?)

Sarah Friend [Toronto/Berlin] (Our Networks)

Jonathan Penney [Halifax] (Citizen Lab, Dalhousie U)

Garry Ing [Toronto] (OCAD U, Our Networks)

Dante Sanchez [Toronto] (Toronto Mesh)

Connor Turland [Toronto] (Holochain)

Dawn Walker [Toronto] (U of T)


This event is organized by Pegah Vaezi as part of the requirements for the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto.


Hart House
Art Museum at the University of Toronto

Title image: Skawennati, Becoming Skywoman, machinimagraph from She Falls for Ages, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.


Daniels Logoempty space HartHouseempty space

 empty space

Toronto-Dominion Bank Logo

Lead Sponsor:


Community Partners:

citizenlab interaccess toronto mesh

We gratefully acknowledge operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, with additional project support from TD Insurance.


Skawennati, Becoming Skywoman, machinimagraph from She Falls for Ages, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

Sarah Friend, ClickMine, 2017.

Garry Ing

Garry Ing, Network from Memory, 2018.

can you hear me

Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter, Can You Hear Me?, 2014. Courtesy Wachter & Jud.


Program Archive

Feature Past Programs