Cristina Venegas Cuba’s Digital Dilemma

Digital culture in Cuba is a tangle of overlapping spheres of expression and experiences. These zones form interconnections made up of individuals, commerce, and the state. The resulting geography reveals the movement of capital, the power of stakeholders, and spaces of intimacy. It is a map of interrelated consciousness. As such, Cuba’s digital culture depends on local histories and characteristics, and responds to transnational exchanges and relays. By examining artifacts, like old Soviet Radar Base in the Cuban province of Lourdes, media infrastructures, popular adaptations of “inaccessible” channels of communication, and cross-media digital production, the talk explores questions about the nature and location of Cuba’s digital environments, and what they tell us about ways of living and learning that develop despite controls on information and activity.

Cristina Venegas is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at UCSB. Her research focuses on international media with an emphasis on “Latin” America, Spanish-language film and television in the U.S., and digital technologies. Her forthcoming book is titled Digital Dilemma about Cuba’s digital media since the 1990s.

Originally recorded May 8, 2008 at UC Santa Barbara.
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