The Latin American and Iberian Collections team has recently acquired a small but utterly compelling collection of books published by Ediciones Vigía. These are beautiful and hugely imaginative hand-made artist books created in Matanzas, Cuba. Although in nature very different to the Cartonera collection we have built over the years, Vigía books also help us ask questions about the possibilities of creating and disseminating art and literature in a context of material scarcity.
Ediciones Vigía was founded by the poet Alfredo Zaldívar and the artist Rolando Estévez in 1985 but did not originally start as a publisher: it began as a cultural association organizing events for the local community to learn about Cuban and international authors. They would produce invitations for such events held in the then named Casa del Escritor (The Author’s House) in the Plaza de la Vigía square in Matanzas.
Lucy Bell (Senior Lecturer in Spanish and translation studies, University of Surrey), Alexander Ungprateeb Flynn (Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Contemporary Art, UCLA) and Patrick O’Hare (UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, University of St. Andrews) have collaborated with the University Library in the building up of our cartonera collection . They will be presenting and discussing their new book, the first comprehensive study of cartonera, in conversation with David Lehmann (University of Cambridge) and Clara Panozzo (Latin American and Iberian Collections, Cambridge University Library). The book is published by the University of Texas Press and is available online for Cambridge users here.
Drawing on interdisciplinary research conducted across Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, the authors show how this hands-on practice has fostered a politically engaged network of writers, artists, and readers. More than a social movement, cartonera uses texts, workshops, encounters, and exhibitions to foster community and engagement through open-ended forms that are at once creative and social.
Angélica Gorodischer, by Nicolasgoro, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
Such was the recipe for storytelling of Angélica Gorodischer, the Argentine award-winning author who passed away a month ago, on February 5th, in her beloved hometown of Rosario at the age of 93 years old. Her books were translated into several languages, including English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Czech and Russian, and although it was not the only genre she was prolific in, she is mainly known for her science fiction works. Continue reading →
A new resource offering access to an extraordinary wealth of electronic resources with Latin American and Iberian content is now available to researchers. The Latin America North East Libraries Consortium (LANE), a working group within the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) is behind this impressive initiative.
The difficulties in acquiring and offering access to print material during the current COVID-19 crisis has meant that many librarians have re-directed their efforts towards making more online resources available to their readers. Part of the work done by the Latin American and Iberian collections team has concentrated on publications by CLACSO (Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales), a network of 700 research institutions in 52 countries, mainly from Latin America. CLACSO’s catalogue has 2953 open access ebooks, mainly in Spanish and Portuguese, and some of them can be accessed directly from the library’s catalogue, iDiscover, and through the JSTOR platform that hosts them. However, rather disappointingly, metadata for these books was so poor that it could have caused confusion for readers. The vast majority of the nearly 200 records, which were meant to make these books retrievable, often featured little more than a title (sometimes incomplete) and the publisher’s name. Continue reading →