Precarious Publishing in Latin America: Relations, meaning and community in movement

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: Languages and Translation Studies

Abstract

This project focuses on a contemporary publishing phenomenon that lies at the intersection between cultural trend and social movement, artistic intervention and community environmental project. Known in Latin America as editoriales cartoneras (or catadoras in Brazil), the phenomenon is often translated as 'cardboard publishing', because one feature that unites the diverse publishing projects is the material from which they make their books: recycled cardboard. Yet the term 'cartonera' encompasses far more than the English word 'cardboard'. It is also a reference to the cartonero figure - the cardboard collector or waste picker, a product of economic crisis and unemployment - that was so central in the formation of the first cartonera publishing organisation Eloisa Cartonera in Buenos Aires (2003). It was from cartoneros that Eloisa's founding artists and writers gained inspiration and purchased cardboard, and it was with them that they set up a productive publishing workshop that has since published around 200 titles. Editoriales cartoneras might thus also be translated as 'waste-picking publishers'. Some of them, like Eloisa and Dulcineia (São Paulo), continue to work directly with waste-pickers. Many others, though, have recycled the idea, and adapted it to different local contexts, communities and social needs: some work with groups of school children from deprived areas, others with indigenous communities, to name just two examples. What underpins these divergent, fragmented projects, however, is the shared notion of working productively and creatively from a situation of precariousness - material, social, political, economic and/or environmental.

In this comparative study of cartoneras from Brazil and Mexico, we explore 'precarious publishing' in its two closely inter-related guises: an artistic trend and a social movement. In methodological terms, this requires a transnational, interdisciplinary approach that analyses the projects simultaneously as a collection of artistic texts and objects (through literary analysis) and a set of production methods, everyday interactions, organizational logics and social networks oriented toward social transformation (through ethnographic fieldwork).

This project makes a number of contributions to research across different humanities and social science disciplines. From sociological and anthropological perspectives, it explores the ways in which theories of social movements can be productively broadened out to include - or dialogue with - phenomena that, like cartoneras, are not only artistic in character, but also fragmentary, fragile and precarious in nature. From a literary angle, it fills a significant gap in research: though these publishers have attracted attention from scholars and journalists since 2003, their focus has largely been on the unusual ways in which they publish (organizational structures and processes), leaving the literary form and content of the books untouched. Our project explores how the content and form of the books (as literary, philosophical or political texts and as art objects) play a key part in creating new relations, communities and meaning. Finally, our innovative use of interdisciplinary methods makes this a ground-breaking study for scholars approaching similarly complex movements that are emerging worldwide in response to increasingly precarious economic, social and environmental conditions.

Beyond academia, our project is designed to create productive international collaborations between academics, publishers, cultural promoters and library archivists, which will lead to a number of shared outputs: a series of blog posts co-written by publishers, academics and librarians; a participative exhibition in London, in which participants will contribute to a new cartonera book; and a collection of cartonera texts accessible to UK-based readers and researchers at Senate House Library, Cambridge University Library and the British Library.

Planned Impact

Impact is at the very heart of the precarious publishing project. Our research will extend the reach of this existing impact on cultural life, heritage and education by working with four communities beyond academia: cartonera publishers in Latin America; related organizations in the UK; the UK general public; in the longer term, pupils and students from primary to higher education. Its impact will be on cultural life, public discourse, heritage and education.

1. CULTURAL LIFE
A key component of this research project will be an exhibition at Senate House Library, London (in collaboration with Maria Castrillo). The exhibition will be innovative and interactive, allowing the general public to engage with the cartonera movement (to touch the objects and read the texts) and become part of it: the response book will be transformed into a multilingual cardboard book. The impacts of the exhibition will be diverse, ranging from 'soft' outcomes like transformed attitudes, values, emotions and beliefs, to increased knowledge and understanding of contemporary social movements and artistic practices (and also of Latin America for the British public).

The event at Senate House Library will benefit cartonera organizations in Latin America, helping them to gain visibility and to disseminate - that is, sell - their work to a wider audience. This event will benefit a number of related UK-based organizations (community projects, sustainability organizations, educational establishments, libraries, publishers and bookshops) by offering a space for knowledge exchange across different areas. It will also benefit readers from varied backgrounds by opening up their conception of the 'book' and of social movements.

2. PUBLIC DISCOURSE
We will disseminate our research via mainstream media (e.g. Huffpost, New Internationalist) and social media (Twitter, Facebook, including the British Library's accounts (see Letter of Support)) in order to widen the reach of our research and enhance public awareness and understanding of major social issues (social mobilization and transformation, sustainability, social exclusion, etc.). Blogs will be co-authored by the researchers, publishers and archivists for optimal reach.

3. CULTURAL HERITAGE
Cartonera books are at present extremely difficult to access in the UK: there are only very limited collections in the British Library and Cambridge University Library, none in UK bookshops, and the books are difficult and expensive to acquire online due to shipping costs. To enable UK researchers and readers to access these books, we will coordinate the creation of three special collections of cartonera books in the British Library, Senate House Library and Cambridge University Library. This will benefit not only the cartoneros (financially), but also the users of these libraries (culturally), by giving them access to new, exciting literature from Latin America.

4. EDUCATION
Our research will be used to develop modules at the Universities of Surrey (School of English and Languages) and Durham (Department of Anthropology). Because of the interdisciplinary aspect of the project, the outcomes will be valuable across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes from Anthropology to Modern Languages (e.g. the module 'Arts in the Spanish-speaking World' at the University of Surrey).

Through Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement, we are interested in developing new teaching materials, workshops and education exhibitions for primary and secondary schools on creative recycling and sustainable social transformation. Indeed, though the inclusion of sustainability in the curriculum is an Ofsted Inspection requirement, schools receive very little governmental support to ensure its implementation. Connections have already been established with curators from the Saatchi Gallery (contact: Rozenn Logan) who are committed to collaborating on such projects in future.
 
Title Cartonera documentary 
Description Cartoneras is a documentary that grapples with Latin America's urban realities, and the cardboard publishing movement that has emerged from these in the 21st century. Reflecting on the different contexts that propelled this form of community publishing, like Argentina's 2001 economic crisis, the independent art scene, and the movements which formed around waste-pickers, the film's narrative is developed through conversations with important actors from the cartonera world. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This documentary, which already has 121 views on YouTube, is expected to increase the global visibility of cartoneras. It was also used as a key material in our exhibition in Sao Paulo, and will be used in the Cartonera Festival at Senate House London (Sep 2019). 
URL http://cartonerapublishing.com/cartonera-new-documentary-on-the-cartonera-movement-by-isa-brandt/
 
Title Cartonera workshop, Mexico 
Description English version of the documentary that accompanies a cartonera book-making workshop in a village in rural Mexico (San José del Carmen, Zacatecas). It forms part of the Cartonera Publishing project led by Dr Lucy Bell, Dr Alex Flynn and Dr Patrick O'Hare. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact In less than a year, the video has received 159 views and 4 likes on Youtube. The hope is that this video, like the others, will allow other individuals and collectives across the world to set up their own cartonera book-making workshops. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aChvFh5Oqgc
 
Title Cartoneras in Translation 
Description Cartoneras in Translation presents a selection of texts by four cartonera publishers from Brazil and Mexico: Dulcinéia Catadora (São Paulo), Catapoesia (Gouveia, Minas Gerais), La Cartonera (Cuernavaca) and La Rueda Cartonera (Guadalajara). This co-publication is part of the broader "Cartonera Publishing" project, a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between anthropologists, literary scholars and cartonera publishers. This work is not intended to be representative of the vast panorama of cartoneras across Latin America, but rather to be generative of new relations, conversations, and exchanges - exchanges that cross borders between countries, cultures and languages. In the spirit of a movement characterised by its lack of hierarchical structures and fixed rules, the emphasis in bringing these publishers together was on open-endedness, horizontality, and autonomy. In discussions from Mexico to Brazil, it became clear that the texts should not be restricted by one central theme, but rather each collective should make a selection that they felt was most appropriate. As a research process, the implicit processuality of working with four different editorial selections, and importantly, four unique ways of creating a book, offered new insights into the diverse social and aesthetic practices of cartonera publishers, and their embeddedness in respective local contexts. The texts offered in this edition - a mix of poems, short stories, auto-biographical snapshots and extracts from longer prose works - gesture toward the staggering diversity of cartonera literature. Yet the process of gathering a selection of key texts into a single book revealed a number of unforeseeable connections. For instance, whilst it was only Dulcinéia that chose to focus exclusively on the autobiographical form, with individual and collective stories resulting from a reflexive, creative process by its principal members, this auto-biographical element recurs throughout the collection. During a discussion with Sergio Fong (La Rueda) to run through some translation queries, for example, it emerged that his cuento was inspired by a real experience, and that all of the characters are based on his friends and acquaintances. Other unifying threads include the common use of the cartonera book as an act of commemoration of silenced or little-known local (hi)stories or characters; the prevalence of the barrio (local neighbourhood) as a place of action and encounter; and the prominence of local and hyperlocal linguistic forms, which capture modes of oral expression from such barrios. In order to give a taste of cartonera literature to English-speaking readers, the works presented here are offered in translation thanks to the hard work of Alice Swift, Elsa Treviño and Ana Frankenberg-García. The highly local references and forms of speech that characterise many of these texts make them extremely difficult to translate - and, ultimately perhaps, untranslatable. All of us - academics and translators - have gained new knowledge from the process of engaging with them, and we hope that you as readers will too. This is the one of the first trilingual cartonera texts in Spanish/English and Portuguese/English, but we hope it won't be the last. At a time when literary critics are celebrating the rise of the 'global novel', we believe these texts put forward an important counterpoint that must be acknowledged, read and studied: while emerging from the same globalized world, they allow us to imagine both timeless and contemporary concerns through perspectives rooted in smaller, more marginal, and often neglected parts of our ever more connected planet. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The sales of the publication in the UK (which began in Feb 2018 at the British Library) will contribute to increasing the global visibility of cartoneras. In addition, we hope that it will serve as teaching materials on courses in UK universities, from Art History to Hispanic, Latin American and Portuguese Studies. 
URL http://cartonerapublishing.com/portfolio/cartoneras-in-translation/
 
Title Curatorial cartonera text 
Description This curatorial text relates to a collaboration with one of the project's cartonera publisher partners. The text is published in cartonera form and is the result of our project's interactions with community partners. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The text, and book in which it is published, has circulated through Brazil. 
 
Title Exhibition: 'Cartoneras: Releituras latino-americanas' 
Description The exhibition, 'Cartoneras: Releituras latino-americanas' took place in the Casa do Povo cultural space, São Paulo, Brazil, from 1 November 2018 to 9 February 2019. To date it is the largest exhibition of cartonera work over exhibited, featuring over 350 books from 35 different cartonera collectives. Amongst works from Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Germany and France, the four project partners' books were specifically foregrounded, along with works from the publishers Yiyi Jambo and Eloísa Cartonera. The exhibition included four short films, documenting different methods of constructing cartonera books and a longer documentary by the filmmaker Isadora Brant. The exhibition had a fully operational public programme with team members a constant presence in the exhibition space. These team members were based at a workstation equipped with cardboard from the Glicério recycling cooperative, paints, paintbrushes, boxcutters etc - in short, the items of a typical cartonera workspace - so that visitors, seeking to take home the exhibition catalogue, could bind and decorate it with cardboard, thus creating own cartonera book and engaging with the processuality of cartonera. The workstation also provided a free printing facility so that visitors could bind in cartonera form whichever PDF text they had chosen. Over the duration of the exhibition, over 300 catalogues were created in this manner and roughly 30 scholarly and activist texts were bound, allowing us to work alongside people integrating cartonera, both literally and affectively, into their research process, making plain the transition of a literary work into the processual and visual sphere. The Casa do Povo venue was chosen because of its connection to the local community and welcoming people into a shared space was at the forefront of our minds in designing the exhibition. The public programme organised a series of events and a cartonera symposium, sparking unexpected connections, all of which occurred within the exhibition. We would like to highlight three particular events here. First, the cartonera collective Dulcinéia Catadora led three workshops in the exhibition space exploring immigrant women's perspectives of São Paulo. The participating group, compromising representatives of different feminist and LBT (lesbian, bi, trans) collectives, worked together to create a series of texts that spoke to their experience of living in Brazil's largest city. Over the three sessions, the participants created 'Somos mulheres imigrantes', a cartonera book of these short texts, which through a complex series of folds, became an A2 placard of protest to be used in a march following the third session. Second, in the process of working throughout the exhibition, two members of the public programme team created their own cartonera publisher, Sin Fronteira Cartonera. Over a series of sessions, Sin Fronteira produced six books, including Dialogos, reflexiones y desafios en Colombia: Hacia un feminismo popular, a text organised by the Colombian feminist collective Red de Mujeres de La Sabana. And finally, to close the exhibition, we organised the event 'Iy mun ku mãk pax', designed to bring into focus languages spoken in Brazil beyond those of the colonizers, Portuguese and Spanish. This event took place over two days and, inspired by the bi-lingual texts of the cartonera collective Yiyi Jambo that create a deft interplay between Portunhol Selvagem, Portuguese and Guarani, the event sought to work with themes of how colonial structures have systemically silenced indigenous languages and literature. Juanito Cusicanki and Beatriz Morales of Aymara and Quechua ethnicity respectively, were invited to present their indigenous alphabets based on their oral knowledge. In the second workshop, representatives of Guarani, Pankararu and Baniwa peoples spoke about their experiences of state kidnapping and the subsequent imposition of Portuguese on their communities. Contextualised by these moving accounts, the title of the event came to hold a particular significance: from the shamanic chant maxakali / tikmu'un, Iy mun ku mãk pax means 'my beautiful voice'. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact - In total the exhibition received circa 2,500 visitors - The exhibition was reviewed in Brazil's largest circulation magazine, Veja - The exhibition was the subject of a feature report by the national Brazilian TV news programme, Journal de Culture, with an audience of 4.8 million people - The exhibition enabled the creation of a cartonera publisher in São Paulo - Visitors took home over 300 catalogues of the exhibition - The workstation printed and bound over 30 scholarly and activist texts brought in PDF form by visitors - The exhibition made possible the publication of 10 cartonera books Selected comments from the visitors' book: I came into the Casa do Povo without knowing what I would find and I was surprised and delighted to come upon this exhibition. It was a very unexpected and comforting moment in my day. It was great to be able to enter into the universe of the cartoneras, and in such an interactive and heartfelt manner! Raísa 21/12/2018 I entered the Casa do Povo for a meeting on the theme of libraries and I was pleasantly surprised by this exhibition. I immediately thought of developing something for my students as I am a teacher in a state high school. I learnt all about Cartoneras and I was really well received by Maria Paula, of the public programme team. Louisa 15/01/2019 Lost for words! You have showed us how to do so many things without the need for making things too complicated. Simply beautiful. Júlia 31/01/2019 Thank you so much for the experience! It was a learning process that seemed simple but it made me so happy and so enthusiastic about producing my next book! Thank you! Javier 03/02/2019 
URL http://cartonerapublishing.com/cartonera/
 
Title Herbario Cartonero de San José del Carmen 
Description The Herbario Cartonero de San José del Carmen is a carboard book developed in a collaboration between our research project, the Rey Chanate publisher, and the telebachillerato of San José del Carmen, a rural sixth form school located in Zacatecas state, Mexico. The book was developed in two workshops coordinated by Patrick O'Hare and the teacher and publisher Oscar Edgar. In the first workshop pupils from the school went into their local environments and collected examples of edible, medicinal, or decorative plants. They sketched out the plants and filled out a fact sheet which included the uses of the plants, and their characteristics. Oscar and Patrick then edited the pupils' work into book format. In the second workshop, pupils each compiled a cardboard book using sewing, cutting, and gluing techniques, then designing unique covers. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Discussions are underway with educational authorities in Zacatecas for Patrick and Oscar to take the pupils and books around other Zacatecan schools, demonstrating our work and imparting the techniques involved in cardboard publishing. 
 
Title How to make a cartonera book - Dulcinéia Catadora, Brazil 
Description Cartonera is a social, political and artistic publishing movement that began in Argentina in 2003 and has since spread to countries throughout Latin America and, more recently, to Europe and Africa. In this video, Andréia Emboava of Dulcinéia Catadora in São Paulo, Brazil, shows us how to make a cartonera book from scratch. Filmed by Carolina Caffé at Dulcinéia Catadora's workshop in the Glicério Waste Cooperative, São Paulo, Brazil. Translation and subtitling by Julia May. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This documentary, which already has 202 views and 13 "likes" on YouTube, is expected to increase the global visibility of cartoneras. It is designed to be used as an open access resource for educators and cultural activists across the world to implement cartonera workshops in their own communities. It was also used as a key material in our exhibition in Sao Paulo, and at our event at Hay Festival (2018). 
URL http://cartonerapublishing.com/how-to-make-a-cartonera-book-andreia-from-dulcineia-catadora-sao-paul...
 
Title How to make a cartonera book/Cómo hacer un libro cartonero - La Cartonera 
Description The 'cardboard publishers' Dany Hurpin and Nayeli Sanchez from Cuernavaca, Mexico, show us how to make books using recycled cardboard for covers. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact In less than a year, the video has received 385 views, 17 likes, 3 comments on Youtube. The hope is that this video, like the others, will allow other individuals and collectives across the world to set up their own cartonera book-making workshops. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAqRD9RM6XY&t=2s
 
Description Editoriales cartoneras, or 'cardboard publishers', are community publishing collectives that make low-cost books out of recovered materials through participatory workshops. They take their name from the material from which they make their books: recovered cardboard ('cartón'). Yet the term 'cartonera' encompasses far more this humble material. It is also a reference to the cartonero figure, the 'cardboarders' who turned to the waste streams of Buenos Aires for a living after becoming unemployed in the wake of the economic crisis (2001). It was from these urban recoverers that Eloísa began to buy cardboard at five times the market price to cover their hand-made books, and it was with them that they set up a productive publishing workshop that has published over 200 titles since 2003. Some of them, like Eloísa and Dulcinéia (São Paulo), continue to work directly with waste-pickers. Many others, though, have recycled the model, adapting it to their particular local contexts, communities and social needs.

The collaborative, multi-disciplinary Cartonera Publishing Project (CPP) has explored how cartonera models have been adopted and adapted across Latin America to help transform the lives of some of the Latin America's most vulnerable people: not just waste-pickers, but many other vulnerable groups including indigenous peoples, rural communities and imprisoned people. Our research across Argentina, Brazil and Mexico has opened up the following research questions: First, how did an underfunded and marginal activity practiced by three young cultural actors in the specific context of post-crisis Buenos Aires come to spread across four continents, creating over 250 cartoneras in less than twenty years? Second, how do the socio-material practices of cartonera publishing inform or complicate our understandings of social movements, resistance and/or activism? Third, what is the relationship between the literary and aesthetic forms of cartonera books and the social forms embodied in cartonera practices? To what extent do these connections and tensions contribute to the creation of new meanings, communities and relations?

Our research team, working across anthropology and literary studies, has set up new, horizontal collaborations with cartonera publishers, artists and activists to develop ground-breaking methodologies. Building on the interdisciplinary thought of Jacques Rancière and Caroline Levine on the one hand, and traditions of participatory action research and activist anthropology on the other, our methods broaden our understanding of form. Following Levine and Rancière, we argue that artistic and literary forms are entangled with social and political formations. This insight, in turn, allows us a renewed understanding of aesthetic practice as qualitative research process. Guided by the multiple forms of cartonera knowledge production, which are rooted not in academic research but rather in aesthetic practice and community relations, our innovative 'trans-formal' methodological framework opens new pathways for practitioners and researchers to work, think and act across social, cultural and aesthetic forms.

In the context of cartonera publishing, our transformal methods have demonstrated for the first time how complex local and transnational networks have allowed cartoneras to spread, build capacity, and develop new ways of 'doing politics' underground through socio-artistic action. In the context of a global shift to the far right, which has reached new extremes since the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, these networks and channels are mobilized by cartoneras to fight against social exclusion, stigma, inequality and state-sanctioned violence. Our research reveals how their arts-based methods have been mobilized against the repression of different minority communities, from LGBTQI+ groups, indigenous communities, and left-wing militants to feminist, landless workers, homeless, black, and environmental movements. Significantly for social movement studies, though, their common desire for social transformation conceals a number of clear departures from more traditional social movements. Unlike the latter, they are defined not by a singular aim, an overarching structure, or a centralized organization, but rather by a socio-aesthetic proposition that opens up a multiplicity of alternative modes, modalities and forms - forms of making, living and relating. Our multi-sited fieldwork across four locations in Mexico and Brazil (Cuernavaca, Guadalajara, São Paulo and Gouveia), uncovers the different yet intersecting ways in which cartoneras create multitudinal social and welfare impact across diverse marginalized communities, e.g.:

1/ In Cuernavaca, La Cartonera's long-standing work with the indigenous community of Xoxocotla has helped the community build a strong sense of collective identity through bilingual Nahuatl-Spanish publications. Their work has helped the community to strengthen its networks and collaborative ethos, and in so doing to increase its resilience to natural disasters (e.g. the devastating earthquake of 2017).

2/ In Guadalajara, the arts-based actions of La Rueda Cartonera and El Viento have helped to promote peace and justice in the context of Mexico's drug war and the consequent rising levels of violence and crime. Working with other arts collectives (from Bordando por la Paz to Huellas de la Memoria), these cardboard publishers have fostered new collaborations, and inspired the creation of new cartonera publishers, thus building capacity for peace-building in and beyond Guadalajara.

3/ In São Paulo, Dulcinéia Catadora is a long-term collaboration between the artist Lúcia Rosa and a group of female waste-pickers from Glicério Cooperative where the publisher is based. Joint artistic projects result in more equal relations between waste-pickers, artists, publishers, and members of the general public in the context of Brazil's highly unequal society. In turn, this central collaboration has led to countless other projects that promote equality, visibility and destigmatization in some of São Paulo's most precarious communities, from favelas to occupations.
Exploitation Route Our research opens important new pathways for academic research. First, it opens the door for further multi-sited research into cartoneras to explore how arts-based resistance is mobilized in other communities across and beyond Latin America (from Bolivia to Uruguay, from France to Mozambique). To facilitate research on cartoneras in the UK, we have built the world's second-largest collection of cartonera books which is now housed at the British Library, Senate House Library and Cambridge University Library. Future researchers will not only have the opportunity to consult these books, but also to build on the collections. Second, beyond cartoneras, our research invites scholars to collaborate across the social sciences, arts and humanities to explore how practices of resistance and activism are being recrafted in the 21st century. Third, our pioneering transformal methods offer new pathways for practitioners and researchers to work, think and act across social, cultural and aesthetic forms.

As a GCRF project, the CPP has placed non-academic beneficiaries in ODA countries at the centre of the research process. Our horizontal methods involved a series of events focused on capacity building, increasing visibility, and facilitating knowledge transfer: community workshops (especially in schools to promote literacy); international encuentros (gatherings of cartoneras to foster South-to-South collaboration); and an international exhibition in São Paulo to support the sustainable growth of the cartonera movement, and challenge social stigma surrounding marginalised communities, which in turn fuels inequality and poverty.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://cartonerapublishing.com
 
Description Our research has led to numerous social impacts in two DAC countries: Brazil and Mexico. These relate principally to SDGs 4, 5, 10 and 17. 1. QUALITY EDUCATION (SDG 4): EMPOWERING CHILDREN THROUGH LITERACY AND CREATIVITY: Through collaboration with our local partners, we have organized cartonera book-making and learning workshops with over 300 primary and secondary school children in some of the most marginalised communities of Mexico and Brazil: rural schools in the impoverished municipality of Zacatecas; and inner-city schools in São Paulo. These workshops promoted literacy, which is in turn fundamental to empowerment and growth in the sociocultural, economic and political spheres (UNESCO 2015, 147). They also provided practical means for children to consider ways out of poverty. In the words of one participant from Zacatecas, "I discovered that with simple things you can achieve great things." These arts-based modes of promoting literacy and creativity have been shown to be sustainable: several participating schools have continued to run cartonera workshops and produce cartonera books and school materials beyond the lifespan of our project. 2. INCREASING VISIBILITY, REDUCING IN EQUALITIES (SDG 10) & PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY (SDG 5): Our international cartonera exhibition in São Paulo (Oct 2018-Feb 2019) was the largest to date, featuring 350 books from 40 collectives, and attracting over 2,500 visitors from a range of socio-economic backgrounds, countries and ethnicities. It received high-level media coverage, from a review in Brazil's largest circulation magazine Veja (circulation: 1 million), to a feature on national TV programme Journal de Culture (audience: 4.8 million). The community cultural centre Casa do Povo was chosen as a venue to help achieve our three goals: equip the public with new knowledge of cartonera publishing in Latin America in order to increase the visibility of marginalised communities from ODA countries; increase the accessibility of literary publishing to foster equality, diversity and inclusion; inspire and train visitors to make their own cartonera books and (in the case of teachers, writers and artists) develop new professional practices that would in turn promote equality (including gender equality). The comments book demonstrates all of these impacts: "Lost for words! You have showed us how to do so many things without the need for anything too complicated"; "I learnt all about Cartoneras. It immediately inspired me to develop something for my students as I am a teacher in a state high school". In order to further the impact of the exhibition, we designed a public programme involving a series of events and a cartonera symposium, all of which were designed to help build sustainable arts-based models to reduce inequalities and promote gender equality: 1. The cartonera collective Dulcinéia Catadora led three workshops in the exhibition space exploring immigrant women's perspectives of São Paulo. The participating group, comprising representatives of different feminist and LBT (lesbian, bi, trans) collectives, worked together to create a series of texts that spoke to their experience of living in Brazil's largest city. Over the three sessions, the participants created 'Somos mulheres imigrantes', a cartonera book of these short texts, which through a complex series of folds, became an A2 placard of protest to be used in a march following the third session. 2. Two educators created their own cartonera publisher, Sin Fronteira Cartonera. Over a series of sessions, Sin Fronteira produced six books, which explore and promote issues of feminism, equality and inclusivity across Latin America. 3. The public programme team organised the event 'Iy mun ku mãk pax', designed to bring into focus languages spoken in Brazil beyond those of the colonizers, Portuguese and Spanish. This event took place over two days and addressed the question of how colonial structures have systemically silenced indigenous languages and culture. Juanito Cusicanki and Beatriz Morales of Aymara and Quechua ethnicity respectively, were invited to present their indigenous alphabets based on their oral knowledge. In the second workshop, representatives of Guarani, Pankararu and Baniwa peoples spoke about their experiences of state kidnapping and the subsequent imposition of Portuguese on their communities. Contextualised by these moving accounts, the title of the event came to hold a particular significance: from the shamanic chant maxakali / tikmu'un, Iy mun ku mãk pax means 'my beautiful voice'. BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS (SDG 17) & FACILITATING KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER: We organized two international encuentros (gatherings / networking events) in Cuernavaca and São Paulo to help build stronger and sustainable partnerships for the SDG goals. The events brought together publishers, artists, academics, and activists from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay, the US, and the UK to discuss urgent themes (from homelessness to violence) and participate in hands-on workshops to explore arts-based solutions to these issues. The resulting knowledge exchange, skills transfer and South-South cooperation has enabled the participants to strengthen their artivist practice in their own communities, but also to broaden their partnerships to increase the scope and reach of their work. This in turn has built capacity for further socio-artistic action across Latin America. For further details and testimonials from participants, see http://cartonerapublishing.com/encuentro-in-sao-paulo/ and http://cartonerapublishing.com/encuentro-cartonera/. SECONDARY IMPACT IN THE UK: THE CARTONERA BOOK COLLECTION Many of these cartonera materials have been very difficult for UK libraries to acquire in the past, due to the informal nature of their production and distribution, and due to the location of many of the publishers in hard-to-reach communities. This project has presented a rare opportunity to build the UK's first large-scale cartonera collection through a new collaboration between Senate House Library (SHL), Cambridge University Library (UL) and the British Library (BL). This collection, now numbering around over 600 books, establishes the UK as the world's second-largest collector of these important books after the US. The impact of these collections has been threefold: 1. Developing new collecting practices The acquisition of these very special books has been both a unique opportunity and a challenge in terms of the libraries' existing collecting practices. Because of the specific material properties of the objects themselves (bound by recycled cardboard and hand-painted), they have had to adapt their conversation methods, working closely with the conservators to ensure the long-term preservation of these fragile books. Furthermore, this project has allowed these libraries to develop and promote a more activist and decolonial culture within our libraries, whereby collections are developed in collaboration with grassroots collectives and vulnerable communities from the Global South. As well as bringing to our libraries materials from Latin America that challenge the literary canon, they have supported the development of the first public collection of cartoneras in Mexico (at the Central Library of Jalisco), an important step in a broader mission to decolonise global collecting practices. 2. Attracting new readerships The Cartonera Publishing project has involved a series of public events designed to activate the collections and bring new readers into our libraries - e.g. the London Cartonera Book Festival (at the BL and SHL) and "Cardboard Publishing in the Courtyard" (at the UL). These workshops have involved 1,000+ participants, and allowed us to promote these collections, but also to engage wider audiences, bringing new readers into the libraries and promoting inclusivity and diversity at our institutions. The festival's SDG-focused workshops led to important attitudinal transformation (e.g. in relation to art/craft and social justice activism), as well as to new cartonera projects and networks in the UK. 3. Promoting and supporting innovative research Since research on cardboard publishing is an emerging area of interest, this special collection that spans the three libraries will support innovative research in several areas including: Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies; environmental criticism and new materialism; social movement studies; media studies; new mobilities; and the history of the book and publishing.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Follow on funding for International Development
Amount £99,993 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/S005803/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 10/2019
 
Description HEFCE Global Challenges Research Fund QR Award
Amount £68,000 (GBP)
Organisation Durham University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 07/2018
 
Title Transformalism 
Description The research method described below will be presented through two forthcoming papers: 1/ "From Cartonera Publishing Practices to Trans-Formal Methods for Qualitative Research", forthcoming in Qualitative Research 2/ "Returning to form: emulation, trans-formalism and experimental methodologies between anthropology and the arts", forthcoming in Anthrovision Interdisciplinarity, multi-disciplinarity and counter-disciplinarity are the hallmark of cultural studies and qualitative research, as scholars over the last three decades have discussed through extensive self-reflexive inquiry into their own unstable and ever-shifting methods (Dicks, Soyinka and Coffey, 2006: 78; Grossberg, 2010; Denzin & Lincoln, 2018). Building on the interdisciplinary thought of Jacques Rancière and Caroline Levine on the one hand, and traditions of participatory action research and activist anthropology on the other, we bring the methods conversation forward: 1/ by shifting the focus from disciplines to forms 2/ by understanding the relation between social and aesthetic form 3/ by making a case for aesthetic practice as qualitative research process We approach the question of methods through the action-based Cartonera Publishing Project with editoriales cartoneras in Latin America - community publishers who make low-cost books out of materials recovered from the street in the attempt to democratise and decolonise literary/artistic production - and specifically through our process-oriented, collaborative work with four cartonera publishers in Brazil and Mexico. Guided by the multiple forms of cartonera knowledge production, which are rooted not in academic research but rather in aesthetic practice and community relations, our innovative 'trans-formal' methodological framework opens up new pathways for practitioners and researchers to work, think and act across social, cultural and aesthetic forms. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We envisage that, once published, these methods-related papers will begin to have a significant impact on interdisciplinary research seeking to work on cultural artefacts and to bridge the arts, humanities and social sciences. 
 
Description Building a Cartonera Special Collection 
Organisation The British Library
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project has presented a rare opportunity to build the UK's first large-scale cartonera collection through a new collaboration between Senate House Library (SHL), Cambridge University Library (UL) and the British Library (BL). This collection, now numbering around over 600 books, establishes the UK as the world's second-largest collector of these important books after the US. The research team has contributed its expertise and extensive fieldwork and networking activities to acquire these books for the libraries directly from the publishers in their often hard-to-reach locations.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the libraries contributed in-kind (their time for project meetings and curation) and directly (their purchasing of the books). They have also collaborated with the team to organise a series of public events designed to activate the collections and bring new readers into our libraries - e.g. the London Cartonera Book Festival (at the BL and SHL) and "Cardboard Publishing in the Courtyard" (at the UL). These workshops have involved 1,000+ participants, and allowed us to promote these collections, but also to engage wider audiences, bringing new readers into the libraries and promoting inclusivity and diversity at our institutions.
Impact The principal output is the collection itself. The collaboration was multidisciplinary, involving: literary studies, anthropology, library studies, publishing.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Building a Cartonera Special Collection 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Cambridge University Library
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project has presented a rare opportunity to build the UK's first large-scale cartonera collection through a new collaboration between Senate House Library (SHL), Cambridge University Library (UL) and the British Library (BL). This collection, now numbering around over 600 books, establishes the UK as the world's second-largest collector of these important books after the US. The research team has contributed its expertise and extensive fieldwork and networking activities to acquire these books for the libraries directly from the publishers in their often hard-to-reach locations.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the libraries contributed in-kind (their time for project meetings and curation) and directly (their purchasing of the books). They have also collaborated with the team to organise a series of public events designed to activate the collections and bring new readers into our libraries - e.g. the London Cartonera Book Festival (at the BL and SHL) and "Cardboard Publishing in the Courtyard" (at the UL). These workshops have involved 1,000+ participants, and allowed us to promote these collections, but also to engage wider audiences, bringing new readers into the libraries and promoting inclusivity and diversity at our institutions.
Impact The principal output is the collection itself. The collaboration was multidisciplinary, involving: literary studies, anthropology, library studies, publishing.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Building a Cartonera Special Collection 
Organisation University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project has presented a rare opportunity to build the UK's first large-scale cartonera collection through a new collaboration between Senate House Library (SHL), Cambridge University Library (UL) and the British Library (BL). This collection, now numbering around over 600 books, establishes the UK as the world's second-largest collector of these important books after the US. The research team has contributed its expertise and extensive fieldwork and networking activities to acquire these books for the libraries directly from the publishers in their often hard-to-reach locations.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the libraries contributed in-kind (their time for project meetings and curation) and directly (their purchasing of the books). They have also collaborated with the team to organise a series of public events designed to activate the collections and bring new readers into our libraries - e.g. the London Cartonera Book Festival (at the BL and SHL) and "Cardboard Publishing in the Courtyard" (at the UL). These workshops have involved 1,000+ participants, and allowed us to promote these collections, but also to engage wider audiences, bringing new readers into the libraries and promoting inclusivity and diversity at our institutions.
Impact The principal output is the collection itself. The collaboration was multidisciplinary, involving: literary studies, anthropology, library studies, publishing.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cartonera event at the Hay Festival 2018 
Organisation The Story of Books SHOP
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We are co-organising a small exhibition and two workshops at Baskerville Hall as part of the Hay Festival (2018), working together on our partners' The Story of Books project. (https://thestoryofbooks.com/blog/
Collaborator Contribution They are supplying a number of in-kind contributions, which will allow us to disseminate our research to an international audience at this international literary festival (Hay Festival)Room hire: £300 Printing/ publicity costs: £100 Hire of Adana hand printing press: £40 Hire of TV/projector: £40
Impact Outcomes will involve a small exhibition, two talks and a two workshops.
Start Year 2018
 
Description British Library talk (Artists' Books Now) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The PI gave a talk on cartonera publishers at the event Artists' Books Now: "América Latina", hosted by the British Library, and Michael Wellen (Curator, International Art, Tate Modern). Around 70 members of the general public attended the event, which sparked lively discussion, generated great interest in cartonera, and led to the sale of 15 cartonera books. The library reported that, "by all accounts, the evening was an unqualified success". We will be following up with a series of workshops at the British Library in May 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bl.uk/events/artists-books-now-america-latina?fbclid=IwAR1SsA_NlITDHkSktvrfxGYPIMYHv6h4h...
 
Description Workshop at Hay Festival 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact During the Hay Festival (2018), we ran two workshops at a local 'working museum' (The Story of Books), which sparked great interest and discussion by 40+ participants. This in turn led to the implementation of cartonera workshops within the Story of Books space, run daily by local teenagers throughout August 2018, and attended by around 200 local children and parents. This has led to two other events and collaborations, including a cartonera workshop with local artist Lizzie Harper, and an artistic residency with Tessa Waite throughout October, where cartonera books were created out of locals' memories and favourite stories.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://thestoryofbooks.com/2018/04/24/hay-cartoneras/