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Escape: How a generation shaped, destroyed and survived the internet

With Marie Le Conte
2 Nov 2022
With Marie Le Conte
Filming venue:

Seminar Room, 1 St Giles’, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford

‘Fifteen years ago, the internet felt like a special place my friends and I had built for each other; by 2020, we were standing on its ruins, wondering if we’d played a part in its destruction.’

Sitting at the intersection of memoir, essay, and eulogy, Marie Le Conte’s new book Escape: How a generation shaped, destroyed and survived the internet is an exploration of the rise and demise of the internet that brings alive a web that was and is now largely gone. With her deft and deeply personal writing and her wry sense of humour, Marie captures the early excitement about the almost endless possibilities of a web that seemed freer and rawer–and the profound sense of loss many of us feel as the web that we used to know has slowly morphed into something both more dangerous and bland.

Moderated by Felix Simon, her talk at the OII will explore some of the topic she investigates in her book, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Marie Le Conte is a French-Moroccan political journalist based in London. She grew up in Nantes then moved to the UK in 2009 to study journalism at the University of Westminster. Between 2013 and 2015, she freelanced for a range of publications including the Telegraph and the Mirror, then joined the Evening Standard as a political diarist. She joined BuzzFeed News in 2016 as media and politics correspondent, where she broke stories including Nigel Farage’s meeting with Julian Assange, and Vote Leave’s donations to Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes. Since leaving Buzzfeed in 2017, she has written for the New Statesman, Prospect, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and others, and has appeared on the Today programme, Newsnight, BBC News, Daily Politics, Any Questions, and many others. In 2019 she published the book Haven’t You Heard?: Gossip, power, and how politics really works followed by Honourable Misfits: A Brief History of Britain’s Weirdest, Unluckiest, and most Dangerous MPs in 2021.