Interview — Silvia Bianchi & Ricardo Juárez

In the night of April 27th 2011 the “Lib­ros Mutantes” invades Mad­rid (Spain). La Noche de los Lib­ros Mutantes was an event ded­ic­at­eted to exhib­it selec­ted artzine from all over the world in sev­er­al exhib­i­tions spread in the whole city. Silvia Bian­chi and Ricardo Juárez the act­ors behind New-Papers and Bar­rioba­jero, organ­ized this event and i asked them to answer a few ques­tions…

What was your reas­on to organ­ize a zine event?

Nowadays there are lots of inde­pend­ent pub­lish­ing pro­jects in Spain and abroad, but, as an under­ground move­ment, some­times it lacks  pub­lic dif­fu­sion bey­ond the inde­pend­ent and artist­ic circles. We wanted to make zines access­ible to the gen­er­al pub­lic, and so we cre­ated La Noche de los Lib­ros Mutantes.

Why did you name the event »La Noche de los Lib­ros Mutantes«?

The birth of the first fan­zines was strongly con­nec­ted to sub­cul­tures such as Sci-fi and ter­ror, so we thought that it would be ok to recov­er a part of that inde­pend­ent spir­it. Besides, as an altern­at­ive to the offi­cial cel­eb­ra­tions of the World Book Day, we think that a “mutant” book is a concept that reflects our aims of cel­eb­rat­ing inde­pend­ent and under­ground cul­ture.
»La Noche de los Lib­ros Mutantes« is placed in dif­fer­ent loc­a­tions dis­persed through­out the city.

Is it some kind of a zine tour? How did you choose the loc­a­tions?

Yes, we would like the pub­lic to walk through­out the city dis­cov­er­ing inter­est­ing places. An open event like La Noche de los Lib­ros gives people a more open insight of cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions and spaces, and we like this idea of Zine Tour. We have chosen rel­ev­ant spaces in the cul­tur­al car­to­graphy of Mad­rid: art gal­ler­ies, cul­tur­al asso­ci­ations, shops, cafés… We will turn them into eph­em­er­al book­shops.

The way you diplay the zines, is it import­ant for you?

Of course it is. When we planned the exhib­i­tion that will take place at la Casa Encendida, we decided that we wanted to show­case dif­fer­ent zines from all around the world, but we also wanted to make people read them and touch them, because zines have a very import­ant mater­i­al side that has become cru­cial in these times of digit­al hege­mony.

What are the most import­ant aspects for you when you’re organ­iz­ing
La Noche de los Lib­ros Mutantes?

One of the most import­ant aspects is design­ing activ­it­ies that appeal to the gen­er­al pub­lic and, at the same time, respect the spir­it and philo­sophy of under­ground and self-pub­lish­ing pro­jects. We have to find that bal­ance, and that’s one of our main object­ives right now.

How does the span­ish zines scene, espe­cially the artzines scene,
looks like?

Although it is not as developed as it is in coun­tries like Switzer­land or Ger­many, the Span­ish artzines scene has grown immensely in the last few years. Every month we find amaz­ing new pro­jects, and that’s some­thing that has encour­aged us to organ­ize this event.

Is it an import­ant medi­um for span­ish artist to express them­selves?

In the last years, lots of artists have recovered “vin­tage” tech­niques such as xer­o­graphy and col­lage, and paper has become really import­ant in emer­ging con­tem­por­ary art…

What do you do when you don’t organ­ize a zine event?

Actu­ally we’re a diver­si­fied group of pro­fes­sion­als, half cur­at­ors half pub­lish­ers. We have in com­mon the intest in under­ground cul­ture and pub­lish­ing. A part of our staff is com­posed by New-Papers col­lect­ive, a group of graph­ic cre­at­ors involved in books, magazines and visu­al arts. Up to this moment Lib­ros Mutantes has been a spe­cif­ic pro­ject lim­ited to an annu­al event, right now we are work­ing to trans­form it into a per­man­ent plat­form. For instance our web­site is fully oper­at­ive and we’re still receiv­ing and includ­ing new pub­lic­a­tions in the data­base.

More pic­tures of the event you’ll find here.

Fotos by Arturo Laso