News, Uncategorized

‘The cloud is not green, cheap or safe’

Anna internationellt-mote-kulturfo

Professor Anna Reading, head of CMCI, brought ‘the cloud’ back to earth with a keynote address to 200 people at the Public Concert Hall in Norkopping, Sweden.

Her talk: ‘Cloud Memories: The Material Fabrication, Frictions and Flow of Digital Memory” opened the annual Cultural Studies International Conference in Sweden and also garnered coverage in the Swedish media. It drew on research from an international project with Dr Tanya Notley at the University of Western Sydney, where Anna Reading is Visiting Professor, to show how saving our memories and data to the cloud is costing people’s livelihoods and the earth, as well as destroying far older indigenous memories that include 60,000 year old rock art.

“The ‘cloud’ has material environmental consequences that include the use of rare earths in our digital devices. Our tablets and mobile phones, desktops and cloud storage need rare earths which are difficult to process without radioactive waste and the potential destruction of ecological systems and communities” said Professor Reading. The processing of rare earths to meet the needs of our thirst to save everything to digital memory is leading to international protests in Malaysia which Professor Reading and Dr Notley’s research has been following.

For more information and media coverage, go to: and

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