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Chelsea Manning. Photo: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Chelsea Manning to Make First UK Public Appearance at ICA London Event

The American activist and whistle-blower Chelsea Manning will make her first public appearance in the United Kingdom this October. London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts announced today that it will host the high-profile technologist and network security expert at a donor event that will be held in her honor.

Before the invite-only dinner, Manning will take part in a Q&A and is expected to discuss the rise of artificial intelligence, her advocacy for LGBTQ rights, and whether technology undermines or strengthens democracy. She will address topics ranging from the Panama Papers, the leaked documents detailing financial information related to wealthy individuals and their offshore accounts, to Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign by harvesting data from millions of Facebook users.

While working as an intelligence analyst for the US Department of Defense, Manning disclosed classified government documents to WikiLeaks. The 750,000 pages of material revealed human rights abuses tied to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2013, she was found guilty of violating the US Espionage Act and received a thirty-five-year prison sentence. After serving seven years in a military prison, Manning was released in 2017, when former president Barack Obama commuted her sentence to time served.

Commenting on his decision to host Manning at the annual Friends of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Dinner on Monday, October 1, ICA director Stefan Kalmár, said, “Honoring Chelsea Manning in today’s media and political landscape will, I hope, show that the power of an individual can change the world through bravery, courage, determination, and vision.”

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