Towards a Greener Digital | Digital November 2021, Programme

For this 2021 edition of Digital November, ecology is in the spotlight. Our programme invites us to discover the ecological side of our digital uses and the ways to make digital technology more sustainable. What are the environmental consequences of digital technology? How can we build a more sustainable digital world? These are just some of the questions that will be asked during the month of November 2021, which is dedicated to a Greener Digital. 

1/Exhibition « Beyond digital: our environmental footprints »

 

When? From Nov. 3rd to Nov. 30th

Where? In Mektory (Innovative Center, TalTech)

This exhibition invites you to take a journey through the environmental impacts of digital technology. It follows the life cycle of a smartphone and the ecological impact induced at each stage of this journey. Of course, it is not all doom and gloom and solutions exist. This is why this exhibition is designed with a practical solutions corner, to raise awareness of these issues so that we can all reflect, at our level, on our digital practices, and act accordingly. The aim is to make digital technology greener: for the planet, for the future

The exhibition consists of a series of educational panels aimed at understanding, step by step, all the environmental consequences of digital technology. A journey around the world, which highlights industrial practices that are not very virtuous, and sometimes scandalous: child labour, civil conflicts, systematic pollution (of the air, water, soil) and the destruction of ecosystems. 

These explanations are accompanied by a range of resources, indicated by QR codes affixed to the panels, in order to extend certain aspects of these issues through videos, articles and multimedia resources. 

Finally, the exhibition is built around three photographic series by the artist Kai Löffelbein, from his work “CTRL-X: a topography of electronic waste“. A journey to Ghana, India and China, which visually provide tangible proof, if any were needed, of the environmental consequences of the digital development of our societies. 

Acknowledgements / contributors

This exhibition was prepared by the French Institute of Estonia, which produced the artistic design and the various contents, in collaboration with the Green IT Collective in France. It was supported by several partners: the French Embassy in Estonia; the Goethe Institute; TalTech.

 

2/ Documentary Screening: “The e-Waste Tragedy”, followed by a debate with a Green IT expert

When? Nov. 3rd, at 6 p.m.

Where? Cinema Sõprus.

The French Institute of Estonia organises a screening of the documentary “The Electronic Tragedy” (2014, 86 minutes), by the Franco-German director Cosima Dannoritzer. A journey to the heart of the illegal traffic of electronic waste around the world. 

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Vincent Courboulay, Green IT expert, founder and CEO in France of the Institut du Numérique Responsable (INR). 

Synopsis :

Every year, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste – computers, television sets, mobile phones, household appliances – are discarded in the developed world. 75% of this waste disappears from the legal recycling circuits, with much of it being shipped illegally to India, China or Africa. Illegal recycling and waste dumping is a multi-million dollar business, polluting the environment and destroying the lives and health of those forced to live with it.   This film takes the viewer on a breathtaking journey of investigation to Europe, China, Africa and the US. It reveals how the European recycling system, plagued by lack of controls, greed and corruption, leaks like a sieve to shady international exporters; how harbour officials in Europe and Asia are fighting a losing battle against the immense volume of e-waste crossing the oceans; why the US are the biggest exporter in the world; and how whole cities in China are literally drowning in our discarded appliances, where they are recycled with a total disregard for the environment or the future.   As a result, recycled and damaged computer chips are creeping into the production lines of electronics that control key aspects of our lives, such as public transport, creating a huge security risk in the process.   Can the toxic tide be stemmed, or are too many people willingly turning a blind eye?  

 

3/ Workshops “Digital Collage”

When? Nov. 26th and Nov. 27th

Where? Tallinna Prantsuse Lütseum

As part of the Centenary of the Tallinna Prantsuse Lütseum, the French Institute will organize 2 workshops “Digital Collage” to the high school students of the Tallinna Prantsuse Lütseum.

The Digital Collage is a fun and collaborative 3-hour workshop with a similar educational method as the Climate Collage. The workshop’s goal is to raise awareness and train participants to the environmental issues linked to digital technology.

It also aims to lay down the key solutions to reach more sustainable practices in digital, and encourages discussions between the participants on the topic. This workshop is a real team building tool allowing participants to come and learn together how to reach sustainability in the digital sector.

A word from the trainer , Basile Fighiera

Digital sobriety is one of the subjects I am exploring the most among the environmental subjects I am passionate about. It is a new subject, often poorly understood, and on which many preconceived notions or false ideas circulate (no, e-mails do not have a major environmental impact in the digital world!)

 

4/ Training and awareness-raising workshop on digital responsibility for teachers at the French Institute 

When? Nov. 27th

Where? French Institute in Estonia.

The team of teachers at the French Institute of Estonia will take advantage of a seminar on 27 November, during which the environmental impact of digital technology will be discussed. Ways of transformation, at the level of the Institute, will be sketched out, to propose greener methods in digital use.

 

5/ Podcast: a discussion with Yves Citton, The Ecology of Attention

When? Release of the podcast on Nov. 17th

Where? Online, on the Podcloud and Spotify’s platforms of the French Institute of Estonia. 

A few weeks ago, we had the chance to meet Yves Citton, a French intellectual, at his home, in his garden in the heart of the Yvelines department. He agreed to give us, for almost an hour, a strong and poignant story and deep analyses on the question of ecology and its link to our relation to attention. This discussion was based on an exchange around his book, The Ecology of Attention, in which he advocates a new control of our attention on the Internet, against the economic models of monetization of the attention of digital actors. 

In Brief

Information overload, the shallows, weapons of mass distraction, the googlization of minds: countless commentators condemn the flood of images and information that dooms us to a pathological attention deficit.

In this new book, cultural theorist Yves Citton goes against the tide of these standard laments to offer a new perspective on the problem of attention in the digital age. Phrases like “paying attention” and “investing one’s attention” attest to our mistaken belief that attention can be conceptualized in narrow economic terms. We are constantly drawn towards attempts to quantify and commodify attention, even down to counting the number of ‘likes’ a picture receives on Facebook or a video on YouTube. By contrast, Citton argues that we should conceptualize attention as a kind of ecology and examine how the many different environments to which we are exposed “from advertising to literature, search engines to performance art” condition our attention in different ways.

In a world where the demands on our attention are ever-increasing, this timely and original book will be of great interest to students and scholars in media and communications and in literary and cultural studies, and to anyone concerned about the long-term consequences of the profusion of images as well as digital content in the age of the internet.

 

6/ 2 #FrenchTouch playlists dedicated to digital and the environment

When? 1st playlist on Nov. 8th; 2nd playlist on Nov. 22nd

Where? Online, on th Spotify and Youtube accounts of the French Institute of Estonia. 

The French Institute of Estonia will dedicate its 2 playlists of the #FrenchTouch series in November to the theme of “responsible digital”. The first playlist will focus on the digital theme, and thus an exploration of French electronic music; and the second will focus on the defense of environment, nature and ecology, in French songs. 

 

7/ And of course, throughout the month of November, a series of articles, resources, readings, links, around sustainable digital will be published on the website of the French Institute of Estonia.

Finally, there will be a review of artists who are working for an ecological digital world!

 
At a glance, you can find the whole programme of Digital November here:

 

Read this article in: Français,

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