Localization, Silenced Voices, Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous Culture

Cartonera books, in many ways, are a “local” phenomenon: they emphasize their place of origin. When selecting of titles for publication, Cartonera publishers prioritize local and emerging authors. They also promote voices that have been silenced, including Afro-Brazilian writers such as Ricardo Aleixo (As metades do corpo) and Indigenous oral tales in Ojepotá. Some of the books are written in mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, and Guarani.


The covers also reference the geographical location of some of the Cartonera publishers. Here, Triplefronteira Dreams refers to the “Triple Frontier” between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Other covers also display the marks of localization, Afro-Brazilian, and Indigenous culture in the ornamentation patterns used or in the use of the colours of the Paraguayan flag. Paraguay is the only truly bilingual country in Latin America, with 90% of the population speaking both Spanish and Guarani.