Cartonera Editors

In Lima, Peru, the Sarita Cartonera publishing collective faced a serious challenge just after setting up shop in 2005. Unlike the model Eloisa Cartonera, established in Buenos Aires in response to a dearth of new books during the 2001 economic crisis, Sarita did not have a public of readers. People in Lima were not interested in fiction, poetry, anthropology, history, etc. Without clients, Sarita could barely stay in business. To stay afloat, Sarita had to create readers. The solution was elegant and pedagogically brilliant. It simply took texts as points of departure for making art. Books became goldmines for rich explorations of meanings and fun. This practice grounded literary theory, making it accessible to everyone, in engaging processes to “improve” on the classics.