This Is a Book and 'Our Word Is Our Weapon': The Politics of Experimental Publishing in Latin America

Thursday, Jan 21, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event flyer in Spanish

E. Tonatiuh Trejo in conversation with Jennifer Osorio; part of the Radical Publishing in CDMX speaker series

Founded in 2011 in Mexico City, Esto es un Libro (This is a Book) is an experimental publishing lab, library, and community space that aims to challenge and transform our notions of traditional editorial processes and products through horizontal means of editorial production and the participatory (not passive) consumption of literary objects.

Founder of Esto es un Libro and curator of Biblioteca de Anomalías (Library of Anomalies), E. Tonatiuh Trejo will discuss the editorial philosophy and production of Esto es un Libro that includes artist books in various formats (i.e. postcards, textiles, polyptychs, LPs) that respond to significant sociopolitical moments such as the Zapatista movement, Mexico’s war on drugs, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing upon Library of Anomalies’ rich collection of artist books from Latin America, Trejo will further contextualize Esto es un Libro’s production within the current political moment and movements in the region. Focusing specifically on experimental publishing in Chile and Brazil, Trejo will highlight how both the content and the material object (including format, media, typography) reflect and respond to recent social uprisings and the necessity of learning about artist book production in/from the global south.

Moderating the event will be Jennifer Osorio, head of International and Area Studies at the UCLA Library and the librarian for Spanish and Portuguese, Latin American and Ethnic Studies. She holds an MLIS in Information Studies and an MA in Latin American Studies, both from UCLA. She is also currently serving as a Visiting Program Officer with the Leadership Project of the Association of Research Libraries. Her research interests include leadership in libraries, open access in Latin America, and primary source instruction.

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Event flyer in Spanish

Series events:

Feb. 12: In Defense of Cognitive Territories: Translation and Typography as Tools for Self Determination in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacan (Mexico)

Mar. 12: Hacking the Quotidien With Mexico's RRD Collective: Creative Experimentation and Transnational Collaborations Around Print Technologies and Public Space


The Radical Publishing in CDMX speaker series highlights creative bibliographic research and practice originating in Mexico City and aims to highlight transnationalism in bibliographic studies and tie bibliographic history to the current sociopolitical context. These programs are structured around the language justice principle that everyone has the right to communicate and be heard in the language in which they feel most comfortable; each speaker will give their presentation in their first language (Spanish); simultaneous interpretation will be provided by Antena Los Angeles. As such, this series aims to reach a broader audience outside the US, particularly in Mexico and across Latin America. This series is organized by T-Kay Sangwand, Librarian for Digital Collection Development at UCLA and Rare Book School/Mellon Foundation Cultural Heritage Fellow (2020-2022) and co-sponsored by The Bibliographical Society of America.

Series flyer in EnglishSeries flyer in Spanish

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