El Paquete Semanal: The Week's Internet in Havana
Michaelanne Dye, David Nemer, Josiah Mangiameli, Amy S. Bruckman, Neha Kumar
CHI '18: ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Session: News consumption, journalism and storytelling
We contribute a case study of El Paquete Semanal or "The Weekly Package" -- the pervasive, offline internet in Cuba. We conducted a qualitative inquiry of El Paquete through extensive fieldwork---interviews and observations---in Havana, Cuba. Our findings highlight the human infrastructure that supports this offline internet, rendered visible through the lens of articulation work. By offering an in-depth perspective into these workings of El Paquete, we aim to challenge established notions of what an (or the) internet "should" look like in more and less "developed" contexts. We highlight how El Paquete is a non-standardized and non-neutral internet, but still human-centered. We also offer an enriched understanding of how an entirely offline internet can provide expansive information access to support leisure and livelihood, additionally serving as a locally relevant platform that affords local participation.
Recorded at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Montréal, Canada April 21-26, 2018