Orality, Gender & Social Audio in Rural Africa
We claim that digital platforms designed for people in low-income, low-literacy rural communities to share locally relevant, voice-based content did not widen dissemination because they were incompatible with the nuances of cooperation. We base this on a long-term study of interactions with prototypes to record, store and share voice files via a portable, communally owned display in South Africa. We discuss how men and women used, appropriated and interacted with the prototypes, and how the prototypes and use contexts supported different genres of orality and nonverbal elements of co-present interactions. Rhythm and mimicry of nonverbal elements participated in cooperation and, we argue, that engaging with such qualities enriches creativity in designing media sharing systems.