ICS Seminar Series 2019

Our next ICS Seminar

Date: Thursday 21 March 2019
Time: 11.30am–1pm
Venue: EZ.G.23, Western Sydney University Parramatta South campus

The Politics of Mediation: Subjectivity, Value and Power in the Digital Grid of Aadhaar

Presenter: Tsvetelina Hristova (Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University)

Discussant: Professor Gay Hawkins


In recent years the vision of India’s PM Modi for Digital India has received a significant boost from two major initiatives of the government – the push for cashless transactions and the ubiquitous adoption of the unique identification (UID) Aadhaar. This UID has been linked to the politics of social welfare, as well as the transformation and digitalisation of the economy and the tension between liquidity and capture in the flows of data, value, and subjects.

The case of Aadhaar shows the complexities and the stakes involved in politicising the issue of mediation in the uneasy convergence between technologies of governance and digital technologies. The digitalisation of political subjectivity in Aadhaar rests upon an acute problematisation of the question of mediation. In this, it links to both theories of social organisation and political representation, as well as to the politics of data representation, organisation, and (re)production. This paper examines the principles that are laid out in the design of Aadhaar through the role of the medium and mediation in shaping new political praxes. It also explores their relation to the problem of value production, circulation, and distribution within the grid formed by the architecture of Digital India.


Tsvetelina Hristova is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Her main research interests focus on labour, migration, digital infrastructures and the ways in which digitalisation transforms the political as a field of power and resistance.

Autumn ICS Seminars

Date: Thursday 21 March

The Politics of Mediation: Subjectivity, Value and Power in the Digital Grid of Aadhaar - Tsvetelina Hristova...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 28 March

Extractivism, Community Responses and the Commons - Dorothy Kidd...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 4 April

The Beatification of the Clinic: Instituting New HIV Prevention Health Conducts in the Age of Biomedical Prevention - Kane Race...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 11 April

Inside Factories and Outside Heteronormativity: an Exploration of the Queerness of Chinese Rural Migrant Lalas - Tingting Liu...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 9 May

Assembling the Capacity to Care - Emma Power...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 16 May

Reconfiguring the Enterprise: Shifting Manufacturing Culture in Australia - Katherine Gibson, Stephen Healy and Joanne McNeill ...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 23 May

Rethinking the Economy and the Human in the Anthropocene - Gerda Roelvnik...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 30 May

Paul Virilio Goes to the Beach: an Archaeology of Coastal Reclamation - Denis Byrne...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 6 June

Where ‘Art Meets Life’: Assessing the Impact of Dark Mofo, a New Mid- Winter Festival in Australia - Adrian Franklin ...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 13 June

Life Course, Health Development and High Tech: Cui Bono? - Teresa Swist...Find out more.

Past Seminars

Date: Thursday 7 March

Forum on the 'Uluru Statement from the Heart’: Are We Listening?...Find out more.

Date: Thursday 14 March

The Artful Excess of Waste: a River Installation - Margaret Sommerville...Find out more.

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