Cartonera Collection Open House, April 24

April 21, 2017

The Ibero-American Studies Collection, Special Collections, and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS) invites you this Monday April 24th for an afternoon of cartonera books in Memorial Library. We will start at 2:30 pm with an Open House of the Cartonera Collection followed by the screening of the Italian documentary Carretera Cartonera. 

Cartonera books appear in Latin America as we witness the fast-paced development of new publishing technologies. These books are composed of photocopies that are bound by hand into cardboard covers. Each cover is hand embellished, making every copy a unique object in itself. Their name comes from the Spanish word cartonero (cardboard picker). Cartoneras also refer to publishing houses that have grown out of this recycling or salvage economy.  These small, independent publishers provide a better return on recycled cardboard by turning that cardboard into books.  These books are then made available to people at prices significantly lower than that of conventional publishing houses, broadening people’s access to literature. Their main goal is the democratization of literature and book production. Since 2003, this publishing initiative has spread throughout the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

With over 1,200 volumes and eleven years in existence, the Cartonera Collection at UW-Madison Libraries Department of Special Collections is one of the most significant collections of its kind in the world. It was established in 2006 and has been curated by Ibero-American Studies Librarian Paloma Celis Carbajal.

You can see online some of the striking artwork of their covers or listen to interviews to cartonera publishers through UW Digital Collections.

Cartonera Collection Open House

Date: and time Monday, April 24th, 2017, 2:30pm-4pm

Place: Seminar Room, Special Collections, 9th floor of Memorial Library

UW-Madison holds the largest collection of cartonera books world-wide. We invite you to come experience these books with the teal of people that have built this collection over the past eleven years.

Documentary screening of Carretera Cartonera and Q&A session with filmmakers Marta Mancusi and Anna Trento

Date and time: Monday, April 24th, 5pm-6:30pm

Place: Memorial Library, Rm 460 (Memorial Commons)

Carretera Cartonera chronicles the road trip of two Italian filmmakers as they travel across five Latin American countries to understand Cartonera book production. What they find is a diverse and vast array of citizens committed to using literary production as a means of fighting for social justice, economic equality, and a more sustainable world.

This documentary was presented in October 2016 at the 4th Cartonera Conference at the Biblioteca de Santiago, the Instituto Italiano di Cultura, and the Centro Cultural España in Santiago, Chile. Madison will be the second city in the US in which it will be screened thanks to the generous sponsorship of Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies at UW-Madison (LACIS).

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