From its origins, the heterogeneous multitude of groups that make up the anarchist scene have generated and disseminated millions of papers all over the world, both to share their ideas and facilitate the cultural development of contemporary men and women. These have been the main reasons for its past existence and its present essential importance.
Latin America has not escaped this process. Many thousands of books, leaflets, magazines and newspapers have been edited on this subcontinent, particularly intensely in the last decades of the 19th century and the first four decades of the 20th century. Nonetheless, there have been several worthwhile attempts, especially in Buenos Aires (Argentina) since the 90s, that amounts to a protracted revival of propaganda initiatives.
The Chilean region has been a part of the above revival. As a very short summary of the history of printed libertarian literature in these lands, besides mentioning the 50 or so newspapers that also existed, the following valuable publishing houses were most notably active: “Lux” in Santiago, “Adelante” in Rancagua, or “Mas Allá” in Valparaíso, among many others. Lux, linked to the IWW, published thousands of copies of several books between 1920 and 1927, among them, the works of some local comrades, such as the martyr poet José Domingo Gómez Rojas, the Primary School teacher Manuel Márquez, the IWW comrade Armando Triviño, and the anarcha-feminist comrade Evangelia Arratia. Other Latin American agitators were published as well, alongside classics by Emma Goldman, Kropotkin, Fauré, Mella and Malatesta. As an example of the size of their press, in 1922, after a campaign of voluntary donations, 4 thousand copies of “The conquest of Bread” were printed.
But as mentioned before, anarchist propaganda is also utmost about action. Our diverse ideas, with our different tendencies, have gained fame in the last few years. Apparently, we are in the middle of a new daybreak. And we already have several publishing nodes, with newspapers, fanzines and even a video-magazine. Works distributed in book-shops, some kiosks, and above all during the actions, demonstrations and propaganda fairs that are held everywhere.
Nonetheless, we have never had an event specially dedicated to anarchist books and propaganda. This initiative seeks to be a convergence space for the different nodes that create materials, so they can get to know and mutually reinforce each other, if they like. But above all, it seeks to offer our comrades, and whoever is interested, an outlook of what we are doing. Our aim is to spread, to encourage production, to get to know each other, to feedback to each other, to share, to escape from the circuits of institutional culture, to self-educate ourselves. For these reasons and much more, we will meet at this 1st Anarchist Book and Propaganda Fair in Santiago.
By now, we can announce that, apart from the stands that each collective will have, there will be space for art, music, history and theoretical reflection. We will be graced with the presence of comrades from other regions as well. We, therefore, invite you to first, to go and visit it, but also more specifically, to participate in a more active way in this fair: disseminating info about it, attending funding activities, or creating initiatives-forums, exhibitions, expressions – for it.
See you soon in this one, the anarchist, cultural and propagandist party.
The coordination team
Santiago, March 2012
PS. We would like to thank the comrades from riseup for providing us with an email account in their server and those from espiv for letting our web stay in their server