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From Trash to Treasure: Introducing the libros cartoneros from Latin America and Spain, A Multimedia Exhibition


Since emerging in Argentina in 2003, libros cartoneros have flourished throughout Latin America and Spain.  Bound in recycled cardboard, these distinctive handmade books are published by small independent presses with noble aspirations: to promote writing and make literature more accessible to the people.

The exhibition features a selection of the nearly 500 cardboard books from 22 publishers collected by the Indiana University Libraries.  The Latin American Studies collection holds one of the strongest library collections of these unique artifacts in North America.  The physical exhibition is arranged into eight displays, covering topics as diverse as emerging writers, social issues, children’s literature, and rediscovered works of literature.  Posters provide more information about the small independent cartonera publishers, their origins, their publishing philosophy, the innovative activities they use to disseminate their works, and the growing international recognition they are attaining as a valuable social and cultural initiative.  A digital companion exhibition can be seen on the new visualization screen (IQ-Wall) adjacent to the main exhibition area.  Finally, a poster exhibition further complements the displays in the lobby of the Wells Library.

The co-curators of this exhibition are Denise Stuempfle, Cataloger of Latin American Studies, and myself, Luis A. González, Librarian for Latin American Studies at Indiana University.

Interested visitors will also have the opportunity to make their own libros cartoneros in a workshop led by Jim Canary, Head Conservator of the Lilly library.  The accompanying workshop will take place at the Indiana University Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts (Room 221) on Friday, October 26 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. For more information about the workshop, please contact Denise Stuempfle at dstuempf@indiana.edu.

The exhibition “From Trash to Treasure” will be on display on the main floor of the East Tower of the Herman B Wells Library through November 9, 2012. Check us out in Facebook.

Luis A. González, Ph.D.
Indiana University

Brazil and the Lusophone Diaspora: Film Series and Exhibit Events at Indiana University

Two major events showcasing Brazilian and Lusophone history and culture are taking place at Indiana University-Bloomington during the Spring 2012 semester.

The “Cinema Maldito” Film Series runs February 23-24 at the Indiana University Cinema.  The marginal, or underground, film movement was a vibrant example of the independent, auteur cinema that emerged in Brazil in the late 1960s. The series was programmed by Richard Peña, director of the New York Film Festival.  For programming, go to the Indiana University Cinema site: http://www.cinema.indiana.edu/?post_type=series&p=2125)

The “Portuguese-Speaking Diaspora” exhibition at the Lilly Library was curated by Professor Darlene Sadlier, Director of the Portuguese Program in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  The current exhibition features rare and first editions of canonical works of Brazilian and Portuguese history and literature, the majority belonging to the Lilly’s Charles R. Boxer collection.  João de Barros’ Asia (1552), Padre António Vieira’s Sermam (1646), and the first edition of Garcia de Orta’s Colóquio (1563), which includes the first-ever published poem by Luís de Camões, are a few of the Lusophone treasures on display.  The exhibit covers work representing the broad boundaries of the Lusophone world from Brazil to Africa to East Asia.

In 1972, the Lilly Library published a catalog of Brasiliana to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Brazilian independence.  The original catalog of this exhibition, Brazil from Discovery to Independence, was prepared by Professor Emeritus Heitor Martins, who served as Chair of Indiana University’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the time.  A digital version of this out-of-print publication, plus a supplement prepared by Professor Sadlier, is now available online at http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/etexts/brazil/index.php.

The ‘Portuguese-Speaking Diaspora’ exhibition runs through April 30, 2012.  For more information,  please visit http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/exhibits.shtml.

 

Luis A. González
Indiana University

Photographic Exhibit – New Perspectives: Dominican Republic

The Library of Congress Celebrates Mexico

James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, unveiled the first phase of the online exhibit “Distant Neighbors: The U.S. and the Mexican Revolution” in the Hispanic Reading Room on May 23, 2011.  H.E. Arturo Sarukhan, Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S., greeted the assembled audience.

Georgette Dorn, Chief of the Hispanic Division, then moderated a panel featuring three specialists in Mexico who gave presentations on Mexico’s 1810 and 1910 revolutions. Barbara Tenenbaum (Hispanic Division) described “Finding the Mexican Revolution at the Library of Congress,”  Roberto Breña (El Colegio de Mexico) spoke about “The Mexican Independence Process in the Atlantic Context,” and John Tutino (Georgetown University) addressed “National Commemorations, Scholarly Debates, and Public Conversations.”

Carlos González Manterola, coordinator of the 10-volume monographic series 20/10 Memorias de la revoluciones en México presented the work to the Library and discussed the project.

The online exhibit is being prepared by Barbara Tenenbaum, Everette Larson (Head of the Hispanic Reading Room), and Juan Manuel Pérez (Reference Specialist).

 

Georgette Dorn
Library of Congress

“Celebrating Mexico” Catalog Wins Leab Award

Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources’ Department of Special Collections and the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley are among seven institutions that will be honored for outstanding exhibition publications at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans this June.

The print catalogue Celebrating Mexico: The Grito de Dolores and the Mexican Revolution, 1810|1910|2010, a collaboration between Stanford University Libraries and the Bancroft, is the winner in Division Two of the 2011 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab “American Book Prices Current” Exhibition Awards. Awards were announced in the April 26th edition of ALA News. The catalog is available for sale from Stanford (http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubs/orderform_new.html) and from the Bancroft Library.

“This volume celebrating the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution is also an implicit celebration of inter-institutional collaboration,” said Molly Schwartzburg, chair of the RBMS Exhibition Awards committee and Cline Curator of Literature at the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center. “Documenting concurrent exhibitions mounted at the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University, it reveals to audiences the complementary resources of these institutions through twin checklists and essays by library staff and faculty at both universities. Bilingual text—in English and Spanish—makes the volume accessible to a wide audience, and a careful integration of text, images and the checklist offers readers a fully unified reading experience. Richly illustrated with extensive commentary, the volume serves not just to document the exhibitions but to provide an excellent introduction to the Mexican Revolution more generally. The use of historic typefaces and colorful section dividers throughout the volume confirms the volume’s welcoming, celebratory success.”

The full press release is posted here.

Adan Griego curated the 2010 exhibition at Stanford’s Green Library. Becky Fischbach designed and produced the exhibition and catalogue. Theresa Salazar and Jack von Euw curated the exhibition at the Bancroft Library. Adan Griego and Randal Brandt from the Bancroft will represent their respective libraries in accepting the award certificate on Sunday, June 26, during the RBMS Membership Meeting and Information Exchange.

 

Elizabeth Fischbach
Stanford University

Northeast Meets Southwest to Celebrate the Latino/a Imaginary


University of New Mexico’s Illustrated Identities exhibit with Codex Delilah on the wall and Crickets in my Mind in display cases. Photo courtesy of Suzanne M. Schadl.

 

On March 5, 2011 the Inter-American Studies Program in University Libraries at the University of New Mexico (UNM) proudly opened Illustrated Identities: The Book in the Latino Imaginary. This exhibit, on display in Zimmerman Library’s Herzstein Latin American Gallery through May 30, contributes to an Albuquerque wide celebration entitled Latino/a Imaginary which will ultimately culminate in a bi-regional (Northeast/Southwest) conference entitled Latino Literary Imagination: East Coast/South West Dialog on Narrative Voices and the Spoken Word. llustrated Identities: The Book in the Latino Imaginary examines Latino/a or Chicano/a imaginations as expressed in books that traverse time and space, crossing and doubling back on boundaries that are both physically and culturally inscribed, and also tightly bound within one another. It features creative and critical texts in two distinct spaces.

The first area, just inside the door of the gallery, is designed to appear and serve as a living space. It harkens back to the earliest manifestation of the Nuyorican Poet’s Café, which first embraced and promoted Latino/a, Chicano/a talent in poet Miguel Algarín’s living room. The rasquache inspired space in this exhibit welcomes that same spirit of openness and appreciation for Latino/a Chicano/a and Hispano/a works. The book case, end table, treasure chest and chairs welcome the UNM community into the space to read, chat and, more importantly, to share their work and ideas. The space contains pieces from the University Libraries’ circulating collections as well as personal items from the homes of Inter-American Studies employees.

The second space, lining the corridor into the Latin American Reading Room, features items from the Center for Southwest Research (CSWR) and Special Collections. These pieces highlight pivotal mentors of Chicano/a and Hispano/a talent in New Mexico, including Rudolfo Anaya, Cecilio García-Camarillo and Delilah Montoya, a photographer and printmaker whose increasingly well-recognized Codex Delilah, Six Deer: A Journey From Mechica to Chicana, on display in this exhibit, follows the Chicana protagonist from Southern Mexico to Aztlán, which she situates within Albuquerque’s Sandia Mountains.

The broad success of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel Bless Me Ultima, published twenty years earlier than Delilah’s Codex, propelled Anaya to the forefront of the Latino/Chicano literary movement. Anaya encouraged New Mexican writers and introduced his students and his community to Chicano/a literature and criticism.  In 1997, he and his wife Patricia inaugurated the annual presentation of the Crítica Nueva Award, established to recognize the foremost scholars in Chicano/a literary criticism. The most recent recipient, Nicolás Kanellos, worked with the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Recovery Project, which is now partially available in the Arte Público database.

Anaya was not alone in his generous support for Chicano/a literature and criticism in New Mexico. Cecilio García-Camarillo, a noted Chicano activist and publisher of Chicano/a works, also worked within New Mexico to draw attention to Chicano/a literature and performing arts. Garcia-Camarillo’s radio program Espejos de Aztlán (Mirrors of Aztlán), and his work with La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque invigorated the Chicano/a arts movement in New Mexico. García-Camarillo’s work also addressed the complexities he recognized in Chicano/a communities throughout New Mexico and the United States.

His and Delilah Montoya’s artist book Crickets in My Mind, also on display in this exhibit, celebrates complexity and community in varied ways. This manifestation of literary and artistic Rasquachismo, a Chicano/a appropriated form that uses whatever materials the artists have on hand, defies simplistic classifications of text. The book itself is bound with horsetail donated by the Navajo Reservation and the Abeyta Ranch in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The paper too is derived from human hair, including that of the artist and several friends.

The text also reflects a collage of “odds and ends,” as the author notes. It includes a condensed interview, two previously published works, a previous conversation, a letter never mailed, and a recorded counseling session. These pieces introduce two diverging characters in the Chicano movement: Ramon the philosopher on the university campus and Reies Lopez Tijerina, the armed defender of Hispano lands. The narrator recounts his personal struggle to find himself in either of these divergent arms of the “movement.”

At times compulsory and at others elective, labels and identities, whether imposed or adopted, ultimately define communities. While the “movimiento” never really reflected one community of Chicano/as or Latino/as or Hispano/as, the marginalization of diverse individuals associated with each of these different groupings created conditions ripe for collaborations and/ or support across philosophies, spaces and identities. While “tweety bird” students, as Garcia- Camarillo calls them in Crickets in My Mind, may never have taken up arms to defend the homeland, they yearned to connect with Reies Lopez Tijerina by inviting him to campus.

It is fitting that Illustrated Identities: The Book in the Latino Imaginary embodies only one piece of a broad scale collaboration in which several Albuquerque institutions, including National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Tamarind Institute,  516 Arts and the Outpost Performance Space, address Latino/a, Chicano/a and Hispano/a creativities. Together these exhibits highlight the works of multiple artists and writers, including Pepón Osorio, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Elena Baca, Yreina Cervantez, Santos Contreras, Ramirez de Arellano, José Montoya, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Viva Paredes, Spain Rodriguez,  José  Bedia, Enrique Chagoya, Juan Sánchez  and the writings of Maria L. Leyba, Georgia Santa-Maria, Cathy Arellano, Jessica Helen Lopez and Andrea Serrano, as well as several formats like serigraphs, lithographs, photographs, drawings, paintings, installations, papel picado, corridos, poems, personal narratives and short stories.

In addition to its collaboration with several Albuquerque arts spaces, this exhibit is part of the Latino Literary Imagination: East Coast/South West Dialog on Narrative Voices and the Spoken Word, a bi-regional conference hosted at Rutgers University from April 7-8, 2011 and at UNM from April 14-15. This conference brings leading and emerging scholars, writers and poets together with critics to reflect on four decades of creativity, activism and scholarship. Its dialog across the imagined borders of Latino/a Northeast and Chicano/a Southwest celebrate difference and collaboration while also addressing multi-dimensional issues like marginalization, identities, convergences, divergences, subjectivities, and perhaps, most importantly, negotiated or contested boundaries – both physical and cultural.

For additional information on these events, please see http://516arts.org/flyers_brochures/2011/516ARTS.Latino-a.VisualImaginary.Guide.pdf and

http://latinocenter.rutgers.edu/news-and-events/events-calendar/latino-literary-imagination

Suzanne M. Schadl
University of New Mexico

 

Exhibits on Latin America at Brown University during the SALALM LV Congress

John Hay Library
20 Prospect St. (12 minute walk from the Biltmore Hotel)
Monday – Friday 10:00-5:00
John Carter Brown Library
94 George St. (13 minute walk from the Biltmore Hotel)
Monday – Friday 8:30-5:00, Saturday 9:00-12:00
Pérez de Soto, a Book Collector Faces the Inquisition

A joint exhibition in honor of the SALALM LV Congress. Melchor Pérez de Soto, a Mexican astrologer and architect, built one of the most impressive private collections of printed books in 17th Century Mexico. According to an inventory of its library made by clerks of the Inquisition, the collection contained 1,592 volumes, covered various disciplines, and represented authors from the classical to contemporary periods. During the last five years of his life, the Holy Office gathered evidence on perceived heretical activities carried out by Pérez de Soto which included practicing astrology and owning prohibited books. He was arrested by the officers of the Inquisition on January 13, 1655, and spent several weeks in solitary confinement. He was found dead in his prison cell on March 17 of the same year. This exhibit illustrates the depth and breadth of the Pérez de Soto private collection and provides a glimpse into one of the finest minds among humanists in colonial Mexico.

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Manning Hall
Campus Green (13 minute walk from the Biltmore Hotel)
Tuesday – Sunday 10-4
Reimagining the Americas

This exhibit brings together innovative anthropological ideas and evocative artifacts from the Amazon to the Arctic to plumb the cultural diversity of the Americas before European contact and explore the forgotten histories of its indigenous people. Building on recent discoveries and methods developed by archaeologists and anthropologists over the past decades, Reimagining the Americas uses cutting-edge perspectives to illustrate intriguing, often complex, histories through artifacts of ceramic and stone, jade and gold, bone and textiles that illuminate the past and expose themes that resonate with present and future concerns. From the arrival of humans in the Americas to the rediscovery of ancient Amazonian cultures and the deciphering of lost histories written by the Maya and Aztec, Reimagining the Americas challenges us to rethink the past and to recognize 13,000 years of indigenous achievements before Europe looked to the west.

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