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Abstract

This paper maps the similarities between colonial and digital media histories, as well as the repercussions these similarities might have on constructions of power and language in a digital age. The colonial encounter in sixteenth century led to the eventual displacement of indigenous pictographic forms by Western alphabetic ones. However, the first years of encounter are also marked by experimentation in which these two forms were combined in unique ways, creating hybrid reading and writing methods. Similarly, digital platforms are able to combine previously separate media (photography, film, 3D animation, print design, maps, etc) in the same files and environments, which also creates hybrid visual languages. Hybridity in colonial Mexico provides important insights, lessons and warnings about the role of power and cultural biases in digital cultural production.