“Cartonera” publishers: books for (and by!) everyone

Enlace para español/Link here for Spanish

Some stories are original. Some are classics in the public domain. Some brim with illustrations, some are for coloring. The variations are endless. But the covers are all made of recycled cardboard, with hand-painted titles and artwork. Each one’s a personal statement—a true original.

cartonera foto1Introducing the “Cartonera” phenomenon! This truly grassroots movement was born in Argentina during the early 2000’s economic crisis. Cartoneras are cooperative, neighborhood-based publishing ventures. They’ve spread throughout Latin America.

Now the movement has caught on here with the founding of “Memphis Cartonera” by Rhodes College students and local nonprofits. Dr. Elizabeth Pettinaroli, a Spanish literature and language professor at Rhodes who conducted field research on cartoneras in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay, has coordinated these efforts and led the mobilization of community partners.

It’s about rethinking art and literature’s place in our lives, fostering creativity, literacy, and sustainability.

This spring’s ongoing workshops: Centro Cultural (Cartonera comics), Cazateatro Bilingual Theater (Cartonera for adults/kids), Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl (Spanish/Nahua poetry workshop), Refugee Empowerment Program (kids afterschool program), Latino Memphis/Abriendo Puertas (high-schoolers workshop), Caritas Village (Cartonera photo books for afterschool reading program).

A chance to learn more, talk with participants, and enjoy viewing some of the creations so far will be on Sat., Apr. 23 (6-9pm) at StoryBooth, 431 N. Cleveland in Crosstown Arts: the Memphis Cartonera opening party and exhibition. Free and open to the public. Attendees can paint, read, and make their own Cartonera book! The event continues Sun,. Apr. 24 (12-5pm).

Further info: Dr. Elizabeth Pettinaroli, 901-843-3828, pettinarolie@rhodes.edu. Sponsored by Rhodes College.


About Pablo Julián Davis
Pablo Julián Davis, PhD, ATA Certified Translator (Engl>Span) and Supreme Court of Tennessee Certified Interpreter (EnglSpan), offers world-class Spanish/English language services including translation, interpreting, copywriting, and editing in both languages. His specialties are legal, business, medical, and humanities/education; he has wide experience in other fields as well. Also offered: interactive and transformative cultural-awareness training for companies, non-profits, communities, government agencies, institutions of faith, and other audiences. (See just a small sampling of testimonials from happy and satisfied clients: interfluency.com/testimonials.html) The ability to move effectively from language to language - which necessarily also means moving between cultures - has likely never been at a greater premium than it is in today's world. That ability is what we mean by Interfluency TM.

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