Wednesday, June 22, 2022
9 AM – 11 AM PST 

Registration and Zoom link here 

We’re delighted to bring together the participants of the Cartonera publishing project for the virtual launch of the book ‘Taking Form, Making Worlds’. 

A publishing phenomenon and artistic project, cartonera was born in the wake of Argentina’s 2001 economic crisis. Infused with a rebellious spirit, cartonera has exploded in popularity, with hundreds of publishers across Latin America and Europe making colorful, low-cost books out of cardboard salvaged from the street. Taking Form, Making Worlds is the first comprehensive study of cartonera. Drawing on interdisciplinary research conducted across Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, the authors show how this hands-on practice has fostered a politically engaged network of writers, artists, and readers. More than a social movement, cartonera uses texts, workshops, encounters, and exhibitions to foster community and engagement through open-ended forms that are at once creative and social. For various groups including waste-pickers, Indigenous communities, rural children, and imprisoned women, cartonera provides a platform for unique stories and sparks collaborations that bring the walls of the “lettered city” tumbling down. By showcasing such diverse authors and bookmakers, cartonera publishers have encouraged varied works while making a home for an aesthetics of resistance, for experimentation, and for those living on the fringes of capitalist societies in which poverty, eccentricity, and creativity itself, are suspect.

This event will be introduced by Paloma Celis-Carbajal of the New York Public Library and include the authors, myself, Lucy Bell and Patrick O’Hare in conversation with four cartonera collectives: Catapoesia, from Minas Gerais, Brazil, Dulcinéia Catadora, from São Paulo, Brazil, La Rueda Cartonera, from Guadalajara, Mexico, and La Cartonera, from Cuernavaca, Mexico. Tim Ingold will then offer a reader's perspective on the book.

auflynn [at]

Alex Ungprateeb Flynn is an Assistant Professor at the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, University of California, Los Angeles. Working as an anthropologist and curator, Alex’s practice explores the intersection of ethnographic and curatorial modes of enquiry. Researching collaboratively with activists, curators and artists in Brazil since 2007, Alex explores the prefigurative potential of art in community contexts, prompting the theorisation of fields such as the production of knowledge, the pluriversal, and the social and aesthetic dimensions of form.