Communal Care and Liberation was a conversation between Adriana Monsalve of Homie House Press and MJ Balvanera of Co-Conspirator Press, moderated by Emmy Catedral as part of Wendy’s Subway’s residency project Publishing the Present: An Archive of Mutual Care and Action, supported by the Libby Leshgold Gallery and READ Books.
This event focused on publishing as a site of collective praxis and community building, exploring the role of independent publishers in creating frameworks for imagining better futures and facilitating direct responses to urgent communal needs. The speakers discussed their publishing practices and projects, as well as their collective organizational structures, sharing how they come to their work, what grounds them, and what they hope to see more of in the future.
Communal Care and Liberation: Publishing for Radical Futures was the second in a series of programs expanding on Publishing the Present, an archive of contemporary networks of activism and independent publishing launched in 2020. This conversation and future programs will be included in a forthcoming publication, the second installment of Peer Review, a series co-published by Wendy’s Subway and Press Press.
Publishing the Present was the 2020 iteration of the Libby Leshgold Gallery and READ Books's annual Summer School for Artists' Publishing, which hosts residencies, presents exhibitions, and organizes symposia and talks seeking to advance international critical discourse and self-examination in the field of artists' publishing.
Adriana Monsalve is an artist, cultural worker and collaborative publisher working in the photobook medium. Along with Caterina Ragg, Monsalve is co-founder of Homie House Press, a radical cooperative platform that challenges the ever-changing forms of storytelling with image and text. Within her photographic practice, Monsalve is a visual communicator and archivist who produces in-depth stories on identity through the nuances in between race, gender, and immigrant adjacent experiences. Within her cultural work as a collaborative publisher, she holds space for and with underrepresented communities through the multidisciplinary platform of Homie House Press; a playground where fotos become books, a safe space for secret stories and an open house for honest content that meets at the intersection of personal, political, and poetic.
MJ Balvanera (she/her) is a Graphic Designer from Mexico City and is Creative Director for CO—CO Press. As a cis, light skinned Mexican national of European descent, MJ likes to think that graphic design can be more than just a series of arbitrary Eurocentric visual standards imposed on us all, but a fun means of individual and cultural expression. MJ started as a volunteer for WCCW, and has learned, grown and explored every step of the way. CO—CO Press was born out of MJ’s passion for colored paper, binding coils, and using design as a tool for the redistribution of resources.
Emmy Catedral is a Butuan-born artist and writer. She is the co-founder of Pilipinx American Library and works at Printed Matter as the Coordinator of Fairs & Editions. She is based in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY.
The Libby Leshgold Gallery is financially supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
The Libby Leshgold Gallery respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the unceded, traditional and ancestral xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.