Over the past few decades, workshops in Latin America have reimagined the physicality of artists’ books by incorporating found, recycled, and natural materials. They subvert the notion of what a book should be and mean by producing them collectively and inexpensively, and experimenting with the format and content. Taller Leñateros in Chiapas, Mexico, and Ediciones Vigía in Matanzas, Cuba, create a fantastical array of books that merge two literary influences in the Americas—ancient pre-Columbian codices and European printed narratives. In 2003, a group of writers and artists in Argentina founded Eloísa Cartonera during the country’s economic crisis. Their name relates to the scrap cardboard purchased from cartoneros (or “paper pickers”) and repurposed as sturdy covers. Such ventures suggest possibilities for the survival of the book as an embodiment of cultural values and carrier of collective expression.
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