Ms. Kirsten Scott’s Spanish Language Arts class came to visit the Cartonera Collection in October 2013 in Memorial Library, and during the past fall semester she and her class worked with Saylín Alvarez (by this time they were all in 8th grade). They all met on a weekly basis for creative workshops that resulted in the bilingual cartonera book Mi mundo/My World. The several copies made by the students and Saylín make up the current exhibit “Cartonera Crossings: From Cardboard Books To Cultural Identity” at Memorial Library. The texts compiled in this book offer the students’ particular vision on several topics such as self-confidence and self-perception, education, leadership, immigrant farm labor, undocumented immigration, family memories, animal mistreatment, gangs, and contemporary issues such as the mass kidnapping of students in Iguala, Mexico, or the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The project “Cartonera Crossings,” led by Saylín Álvarez Oquendo (PhD Candidate and Lecturer Spanish and Portuguese, UW-Madison) and partnered with Kristen Scott (Bilingual teacher, Cherokee Heights Middle School), was made possible thanks to a 2014-2015 Public Humanities Exchange (HEX) Grant awarded by the Center for the Humanities at UW-Madison.