Self-publishing as a trend and a timeless phenomenon, an element of DIY culture and a model of work, is also a way of maintaining independence and creative self-expression. During their stay in Wrocław, the Basque artists will work around the subject in a laboratory, as well as running research and workshops, and getting to know the local scene related to this phenomenon.
Do it yourself!
Raisa Álava will come to Wrocław for a 3-week study visit. During that stay, on 15th and 16th of June, she will lead a workshop on creating original publications addressed to people interested not only in fanzine culture, but also in storytelling, artistic books and comic books – including those who are just starting their adventure with self-publishing. Álava is an artist working in the field of drawing, graphic design, screen printing, illustration and ceramics. She deals with real and imaginary experiences, collective memory, comic books and random thoughts.
The map of Wrocław’s independent publishing house scene
The second Basque artist invited to Wrocław, Eneka Fernández, will explore the local self-publishing scene in June and July. She wants to meet independent publishers and self-publishing artists. During the residency, she would also like to organize a series of meetings devoted to identifying problems and presenting possible solutions to the subject of self-publishing.
For many years, the artist has beeninvolved in independent publishing. Years of choosing fanzines, discovering original publications and meetings with authors led her to launch The Fanzinart platform. In 2015, Fernández became the coordinator of the Ubik – Creative Library programme at the International Centre for Contemporary Art called Tabakalera. Recently, with the support of the Basque government, she has issued her own publication “Terranova” with photographs of icebergs that her father, a naval mechanic, took at sea.
It is not the first time that the Basques have been invited to Wrocław. In previous years, thanks to the cooperation between the Culture Zone Wrocław (formerly the ECoC Wrocław 2016) and the Basque Institute Etxepare, we have already hosted twelve artists as a part of the AIR Wro programme. Eneka Fernández and Raisa Álava are the first Basque artists who have not been selected inan open call for applications, but invited on the basis of recommendations prepared jointly by both institutions.
Self-publishing lab on Tamka
Another artist who will also work in the capital of Lower Silesia that summer within the framework of the self-publishing lab is Irène Mélix, selected in the recruitment process for artists from the partner cities of Wrocław. A Dresden-based artist and activist wants to explore the history of the LGBTIQ community in Wrocław during her residency. In the “Amour Sur Minitel” project she will focus on researching the stories of advertisements and announcements of lesbians who, over the course of several decades – especially during the communist era but also after the transformation – were forced to look for their second half by publishing advertisements in the daily press or in magazines not necessarily available to a wide audience.
The residency labs, their activities and events accompanying the laboratory will take place on Tamka Island, known to the inhabitants of Wrocław as an art hub and a club. More information about the programme will be available soon!