Handmade in CubaRolando Estévez and the Beautiful Books of Ediciones Vigía

Handmade in CubaRolando Estévez and the Beautiful Books of Ediciones Vigía

Ruth Behar, Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, and Kristin Schwain

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9781683401520

Publisher: University Press of Florida

Abstract

Handmade in Cuba is an in-depth examination of Ediciones Vigía, an artisanal press that published exquisite books crafted from everyday supplies during some of Cuba’s most dire economic periods. Vividly illustrated, this volume shows how the publishing collective responded to the nation’s changing historical and political situation from the margins of society, representing Cuban culture across the boundaries of race, age, gender, and genre. In this volume, poets and scholars reflect on the unique artistic work of Rolando Estévez, who oversaw the creation of over 500 handmade books and magazines between 1985 and 2014. They highlight the beautiful designs and unusual materials selected, including fabric, metals, wood, feathers, and discarded items. Through diverse perspectives, including an interview with Estévez himself, the essays showcase the unlimited inventive possibilities of books as objects, as sculptural pieces, and as installations. Even in the age of digital technology, Estévez generated enormous excitement and admiration for these hand-crafted books, and this volume offers the first inside view of this important alternative publishing space.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Ruth Behar

Stories

2 Estévez Always Walking on the Grass

Nancy Morejón, translated by David Frye

3 The Artist’s Voice

Interview by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, translated by María Josefa Gómez Alvarez and Juanamaría Cordones-Cook

4 Estévez’s Artistic Journey

Juanamaría Cordones-Cook, translated by María Josefa Gómez Alvarez and Juanamaría Cordones-Cook

Enchantments

6 “Vigía es Elegguá”

Kristin Schwain

7 An Enchanting Exchange

Erin S. Finzer

8 The Brilliant Poverty of Vigía

Carina Pino Santos, translated by David Frye

Histories

10 Between Wonder and Resonance

Elzbieta Sklodowska