• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [+]Introduction (4)
    • [—]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [+]Russia (11)
    • [+]India (11)
    • [+]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)

Latin America

Mobile phones and micro-stories

With regard to mobile phones, so far in Latin America there have not been any publishing projects that have had an impact comparable to those found in sub-Saharan Africa, perhaps because Internet penetration is higher among Latin American users than African ones, which means that the most innovative experiments are targeted directly at the Web. Some cell phone operators in the region have ventured in one way or another into the distribution of short fiction or audio books, as can be seen in certain stores selling Movistar applications,[1] but their diffusion has been limited.[2]

Nevertheless, there are interesting things happening in informal web portals for hyper-brief texts intended as SMS messages. One such case is Cuentos Pulgares (Argentina), a collective writing project that proposes the creation of micro-stories. Augusto Jacquier, one of the promoters of the initiative, explains:

While I was waiting to be given an appointment to get my driving license, a friend sent me some haikus. And while I was there something happened that occurred to me in a narrative manner, and I wrote a 160 character story, which is the limit for any standard cell phone message (…). The challenge is to generate something with what you have got. New technologies, such as the cell phone, give rise to new practices that have infinite potentiality.[3]

  1. Cf., for example,
  2. As the swing towards digital is consolidated, it is to be expected that the big mobile phone operators will open their own e-book stores, for cell phones as well as for other devices, using as a basis their huge numbers of users and their flexible payment platforms.
  3. Cf. Ballan, Paulo: “Cuentos pulgares: un vínculo entre las tecnologías móviles y la creación artística”, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, 13th June, 2010.

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