Independent publishing projects of the lumbung network

A steel shelf on which many flyers are displayed and a poster with green drawings of a table with a glass and some notebooks.
documenta fifteen: lumbung of Publishers with Rotopol and friends, Comics Reading,Reading / Gathering, ruruHaus (Reno), Kassel, July 9, 2022, photo: Nicolas Wefers

lumbung members, lumbung artists and the Artistic Team of documenta fifteen have been meeting for two years in mini-majelis and majelis akbar (small and big assemblies) to build trust, share resources, and develop projects that address common concerns. They have built long-term collaborations for documenta fifteen and beyond.

Independent publishing is a shared topic for many in the lumbung community. How can the content created by lumbung members, artists, and their ecosystems be published in ways that reflect their practices and shared among themselves, their ecosystems, and the wider public? This is especially urgent as freedom of expression becomes increasingly restricted worldwide. There is little access to publishing infrastructure in many contexts, and it is often difficult for lumbung members and artists to get hold of books and texts from their peers in other parts of the world.

lumbung Press and lumbung of Publishers both emerged as a response to the question of how the lumbung can make publications and share them in an independent and sustainable manner. The collectively run lumbung Press (installed at documenta Halle during documenta fifteen) shows how to print books and other materials and offers self-publishing resources during and beyond the 100 days of the exhibition. lumbung of Publishers builds a distribution circuit and collaborations between independent publishers around the world.

lumbung Press

lumbung Press is a common project developed by lumbung members, lumbung artists, and the Artistic Team of documenta fifteen. At its core, it consists of a collectively run offset print shop in the documenta Halle, its printed materials, and accompanying events. The idea is to generate direct flow of “raw” information by non-mediated passing of images and narratives, avoiding editing, translations outside the logic of each project or artistic intention.

Printing technicians instruct lumbung members and lumbung artists, as well as members of the Artistic Team, and further participants in the usage of the machines with the aim of becoming an independent working team. There are two strategies of publishing: A fast immediate one that produces daily varying flyers and posters, and a slower process that harvests books and publications from the artistic contributions to documenta fifteen.

lumbung Press started printing in June 2022 and slowly grows into a collaborative space during documenta fifteen. These include the meetings of the lumbung of Publishers from Wednesday, July 6 until Sunday, July 10, 2022, of Fridskul, and of the art mediators sobat-sobat. lumbung Press is also the link for documenta fifteen’s partnership with Kunsthaus Göttingen, within which joint events, publications, and residencies are organized.

The printed material of the lumbung Press is distributed via three channels: In Kassel through lumbung Kios, by the book trade on a national and international basis, and via lumbung members and lumbung artists in their own ecosystems.

lumbung of Publishers

Within the cultural sphere, independent publishers and publishing collectives are particularly dependent on solidarity and the sharing of resources to survive. During documenta fifteen, lumbung of Publishers offers independent publishers the possibility to get to know each other and to share knowledge. The goal is to create a network that exists beyond the 100-day duration of documenta fifteen.

For lumbung of Publishers, ruangrupa and the Artistic Team invite 20 independent publishers to Kassel. Among them are the publishing collective consonni from Bilbao, the graphic experimentation workshop La Impresora from Puerto Rico, Ljubljana-based Stripburger, Rotopol from Kassel, and many more. Two stakeholders from each publishing house travelled to Kassel to first participate in a two-day internal workshop. During the first Meydan weekend, from Friday, July 8 until Sunday, July 10, 2022, the publishers designed a three-day public program, with presentations, workshops, and lectures. lumbung of Publishers offers visitors of documenta fifteen the possibility to get to know the independent publishers and their programs from different countries and to gain an insight into their survival strategies. In collaboration with lumbung Press, the participating publishers and collectives showcase their publications and produce new ones on the spot.

Confirmed publishers

La Impresora, Puerto Rico; Bananafish Books, China; consonni, Basque Country; Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Mexico; Erick Beltrán, Spain and Mexico; HAMBRE, Chile; Jalada, Kenya; Kayfa ta, Egypt; kuš!, Latvia; Kutikuti, Finland; Marjin Kiri, Indonesia; microutopías press, Uruguay; Nieves, Switzerland; Relampago, Colombia; Rotopol Press, Germany; Strapazin, Switzerland; Stripburger, Slovenia; David Kaiza, Kenya; N’fana Diakite, Mali; Reading Room, China

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