Ph.D. Student | Archivist | Human Rights Worker
he / him / siya
Benedict Salazar Olgado (Bono [bō- nō]) is a Ph.D. student in Informatics and Global Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Co-advised by Dr. Geoffrey C. Bowker and Dr. Roderic Crooks, Bono’s research is broadly situated at the intersections of memory, technology, and document(ation) studies in relation to human rights. Bono is particularly interested in the datafication of transitional justice. He looks into how databases as information infrastructure and their imaginaries configure the memory practices and politics entailed in contending with violent pasts. Bono asks, if it is possible, what does a survivor-centered and memory-sensitive transitional justice database looks like and how do we go about pursuing it?
Bono is a Fellow of the Irvine Initiative in AI, Law, and Society and is currently affiliated as a graduate researcher with the Steckler Center for Responsible, Ethical, and Accessible Technology (CREATE), the Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction (LUCI), and the Evoke Lab and Studio. He is a co-founder/organizer of the Datafication and Community Activism initiative at UC Irvine.
An interdisciplinary scholar, Bono often engages with and across disciplinal communities including LIS, STS, HCI, and Film & Media. He studies transnational geopolitics of technology, political economy of social media, archives & cinema, and video games in the Global South. Bono received his M.A. in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A. in Social Sciences and Communication from the Ateneo de Manila University. As a scholar, he subscribes to while critically explores notions of academic generosity and academic insurgency.
An audiovisual archivist, Bono has worked in various media archives, including as founding Director of the National Film Archives of the Philippines (now Philippine Film Archives). He was an executive councilor of the Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (2014-2020) and served as co-chair of the International Outreach Committee of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (2012-2015). In 2011, he was named the AMIA-Kodak Fellow in Film Preservation and in 2014 he received the FOCAL Award for Best Archive Restoration / Preservation for his work on the restoration of Manila in the Claws of Light (Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag, 1975/2013). He serves as a consultant on matters regarding records management and preservation infrastructure for cultural institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, personal estates, and multinational corporations across Southeast Asia.
Passionate about teaching and mentorship, Bono taught archival theory and practice at the University of the Philippines School of Library and Information Studies as an assistant professor of practice. He has advanced pedagogical training and certifications on evidence-based learning and learning-through-diversity. From mentoring first-generation undergraduates to helping incoming underrepresented minorities in graduate programs, Bono serves as a mentor in numerous campus-wide programs seeking to help students navigate academia while also working with others in finding ways to improve campus climate. Given his commitments to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at UC Irvine, he has been an Inclusive Excellence awardee in 2020 and again, in 2021.
Bono's scholarship is grounded in his work as a community organizer and human rights advocate. He follows the footsteps of his parents, who were farmers and church leaders during the Marcos regime. Bono works with filmmakers, activists, and archivists in preserving the works of independent media collectives during Martial Law in the Philippines. Currently, he also serves as lead database architect documenting the ongoing violent War on Drugs waged by the authoritarian regime of Rodrigo Duterte. In 2021, Bono joined HURIDOCS as its Programme Manager for Asia, where he supports human rights groups across the region with their documentation, information, and technological needs.
Bono loves panda bears.
“To sit with these sources requires the capacity to hold and inhabit deep wells of pain and horror. One must persist for years in this ‘mortuary’ of records to bring otherwise invisible lives to historical representation in a way that challenges the reproduction of invisibility and commodification. This process of historicization demands strategies to manage the emotional response one has to such brutality in order to persist with these subjects --- to be willing to take up and sit with this aspect of human degradation and find meaning...There were many times I had to put the documents down and walk away. But I knew I had to gather myself and return to them...To spend time in this temporal and geographical space is to risk emotional strength. It obliterates the possibility of objectivity. It is an exercise of endurance.”
-Marisa J. Fuentes, Dispossessed Lives (2016, p. 147)