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Vortrag im Oberseminar

Am Montag, den 5. November hält Dr. Steffen Köhn einen Vortrag zum Thema "Cuba’s offline data distribution network as a media ecosystem"

05.11.2018 um 18:00 Uhr

Dr. Steffen Köhn (FU Berlin)

Inside „el paquete“ - Cuba’s offline data distribution network as a media ecosystem

Cuba has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world as access for long has been restricted by Government policies that ban all independent private media for fear of freedom of information and expression. Still, millions of Cubans engage with global media content on a daily basis and can access the latest in movies, TV series, YouTube videos, and mp3 music albums. This is thanks to El paquete semanal (the weekly package), an offline peer-to peer-data-sharing network in which digital material is distributed physically via USB sticks and external hard drives. Each week, El paquete contains about one terabyte of files that is compiled by a network of people with various forms of privileged internet access, for example at university computers or government workplaces. It is then circulated nationwide with the help of an elaborate human infrastructure of deliverymen who bring the content to the remotest corners of the island and right to their clients’ homes. In this presentation, I show how El Paquete has come to constitute a nested media ecosystem that facilitates the publication of independent local media content, hosts several digital marketplaces, and offers an otherwise non-existing space for advertisement. Its enormous local relevance and scope sets it in competition with the Cuban state that reacts ambiguously: it largely tolerates the Paquete as long as compilers continue to self-censor overtly political content. While state officials have repeatedly criticized the ‘banality’ of its material, the government however recently felt obliged to distribute its own alternative weekly data compilation called Mochila (backpack) via its youth computer clubs and official cybercafés. Hence, I seek to understand El Paquete as an arena in which the relationships between citizenry and the state are currently being re-negotiated.


Wann?     Montag, 05.11.2018, 18 Uhr
Wo?         Institut für Ethnologie, Oettingenstraße 67, 80538 München
                Raum L155 (Obergeschoss) Lageplan


Für die Veranstaltungsreihe hat Herr Prof. Dr. Frank Heidemann in diesem Semester ein vielseitiges  Programm mit interessanten Themen und ReferentInnen zusammengestellt. Mehr Informationen über ehemalige Vorträge am Institut für Ethnologie finden Sie im „Veranstaltungsarchiv".