UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry Welcomes Oge Egbuonu as Artistic Director and Inaugural Storyteller-in-Residence

Visionary filmmaker leads the Center’s aim for artists to engage with the issues around unjust technologies, exploitation of systematic racism.

The UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry has launched its Artist-in-Residence Program, with welcoming Oge Egbuonu as its artistic director and inaugural Storyteller-in-Residence. This program will develop cultural artifacts grounded in the Center’s research, meant to shift narratives for mass audiences and tech workers alike, and to intentionally use and create technology in ways that do not harm others.

“Our goal is to share the mission-critical work of the Center with broader audiences,” says Safiya U. Noble, C2i2 co-director and UCLA associate professor of information studies and African American studies. This important collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Oge Egbuonu will help us tell more stories that can inspire the urgent change we need around the crises of social media and algorithmic harm. We are grateful for the generous support of the Omidyar Network in recognition of the power of culture and storytelling as an agent for change.”

Egbuonu is a filmmaker and thought leader focused on disruptive and inspirational storytelling. Her documentary, “(In)Visible Portraits,” was acquired by The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and premiered on March 02, 2021.

The film was originally released on June 19, 2020. The date marks the American holiday, Juneteenth, which celebrates June 19, 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation was finally read to enslaved African Americans in Texas. 

A powerful celebration of Black women sharing their stories of struggle, resilience, celebration and more, “(In)Visible Portraits,” shatters the too-often invisible otherizing of Black women in America, dismantling the false framework of the present-day reality, and celebrates the extraordinary heritage of exceptional Black women, igniting hope for the next generation. 

Oge has produced “Loving,” the critically acclaimed film about Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court case which legalized interracial marriage in the United States, and “Eye in the Sky,” which explores the ethical challenges of drone warfare. Oge also previously held a seat on the board of the Diversity Committee for the BRIT Awards, where she collaborated on revamping the voting academy and tackling diversity within the music and film industries.

The UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2) is an interdisciplinary university research center at the University of California, Los Angeles committed to reimagining technology, championing racial and economic justice in the tech sector, and strengthening democracy through culture-making and public policy work. The Center is home to the Minderoo Initiative on Technology and Power, an initiative that investigates the social impact of digital technologies on the broader public good. 

For more information about Egbuonu and the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, visit the CiC2 website.

Photo by Ryan Eng