Lucy Bell
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Recycling materials, recycling lives
Cardboard publishers in Latin America

Bell’s chapter examines the cardboard publishing (editoriales cartoneras) movement that has spread widely across Latin America since Eloísa Cartonera was founded in Buenos Aires in 2003. Editoriales cartoneras are small, independent publishers who make their books by hand out of recycled cardboard, whose common principles include anti-capitalism, inclusivity and sustainability. Through close readings of the mixed-media collection Catador (Waste picker, 2013) by the São Paulo-based publishing cooperative Dulcinéia Catadora, Bell argues that cardboard publishers offer an implicit and explicit critique of the ‘three pillars’ of sustainability, of ‘full-stomach’ environmentalism. The chapter highlights the way the Brazilian catadores make use of the liminal zone between the human and more-than-human world, not so much to raise the standing of the latter (as with new materialist critics like Stacy Alaimo and Jane Bennett), nor to reflect negatively on social exclusion in the modern capitalist world (as in Zygmunt Bauman’s Wasted Lives), but rather to sustain themselves and (re)generate their collective identities through the regeneration of materials

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Literature and sustainability

Concept, text and culture


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