Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Digital Dilemmas


My firend and colleague Cristina Venegas just published the following book.  Sounds juicy!

Digital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba
Rutgers University Press, 208 pages, February 2010

The contentious debate in Cuba over Internet use and digital media primarily focuses on three issues—maximizing the potential for economic and cultural development, establishing stronger ties to the outside world, and changing the hierarchy of control. A growing number of users decry censorship and insist on personal freedom in accessing the web, while the centrally managed system benefits the government in circumventing U.S. sanctions against the country and in controlling what limited capacity exists.

Digital Dilemmas views Cuba from the Soviet Union’s demise to the present, to assess how conflicts over media access play out in their both liberating and repressive potential. Drawing on extensive scholarship and interviews, Cristina Venegas questions myths of how Internet use necessarily fosters global democracy and reveals the impact of new technologies on the country’s governance and culture. She includes film in the context of broader media history, as well as artistic practices such as digital art and networks of diasporic communities connected by the Web. This book is a model for understanding the geopolitic location of power relations in the age of digital information sharing.

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