MISS READ: The Berlin Art Book Festival

Launch of Decolonizing Art Book Fairs and IDEA POLL publications
Plus a three-day online program

 Conceptual Poetics Day 2021: August 24, 6–10pm

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

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Miss Read 2021 will comprise a physical double book launch at HKW on August 24, 6pm, and a three-day online program.

On HKW’s roof terrace the editors of Decolonizing Art Book Fairs will discuss the current state of affairs in the field of art and publishing. With Pascale OboloParfait TabapsiYaiza CampsMoritz Grünke and Michalis Pichler.

The global publishing industry is still dominated by gatekeepers in the Global North. To what extent does the colonial gaze shape the publishing scene? How is it possible to decolonize the art book industry? 

The physical editions of MISS READ, the Berlin Art Book Fair for both 2020 and 2021 were cancelled due to COVID. In lieu of a physical book fair, we gladly invite you to a double book launch taking place at HKW on August 24 at 6pm. Simultaneous to the book release, a three-day long online program will follow, featuring live panel discussions, along with content produced and curated for this occasion.

The evenings will launch and center around two recently published publications. Tickets can be booked here.

Decolonizing Art Book Fairs – Publishing Practices from the South(s) is a workbook with primarily newly commissioned texts and interviews with artists, authors and publishers. The volume attempts to enrich the discourse on publishing and of art book fairs, with an emphasis on practitioners and initiatives from the African continent and diaspora. Co-published by Afrikadaa, Miss Read and Mosaïques.

With contributions by: Fouad AsfourJean-Claude Awono (Ifrikiya), Chayet ChieninChimurengaDjimeli RaoulRenata FelintoWanjeri Gakuru (Jalada), Aryan Kaganof (Herri), Sharlene KhanGrada Kilomba, and others.

A full contributors list can be found here.

Editors: Yaiza Camps, Moritz Grünke, Pascale Obolo, Michalis Pichler, Parfait Tabapsi. Contributing editor: Nkule Mabaso

IDEA POLL collects ideas regarding publishing activities and beyond. The texts gathered in this volume were collected through an online query as part of the Conceptual Poetics Day. It features about 100 responses from diverse international networks. IDEA POLL is collaboration of MISS READ and Conceptual Poetics Day, 2020–2021. 

With contributions by: 2nd Cannons (Brian Kennon)Fouad AsfourB&D PressMichael Baersbackbonebooks (Claudia de la Torre), Bananafish Books (Qing Zhou), Ricardo BasbaumBAZAR Art Book FairDerek BeaulieuBLEKBOM DIA BOA TARDE BOA NOITESezgin BoynikUrvashi Butalia and many more.

A full contributors list can be found here.

On August 25 and 26, a series of online live panels as well pre-produced lectures will take place online. A full program of MISS READ STAGE can be found here

2021 online live panels (CEST/GMT+2):
August 25, 4pm, The Politics of Art Book Fairs
August 25, 6pm, Publishing as Curatorial Practice
August 26, 4pm, Book Distribution and Circulation of Thinking in Africa
August 26, 6pm, Reading/Writing as Decolonial Practice/Action

The Politics of Art Book Fairs (Wednesday August 25th, 2021, 4pm) 
Can we decolonize the space of independent publishing? Art book fairs today are not only a venue for representing a separate, prior publishing scene, they are also a central forum for constituting and nurturing a community around publishing as artistic practice. A global phenomenon, these communities take the form of agile, adaptable, and wide-ranging networks.

This roundtable gathers some of the most interesting actors in the field in order to have a vibrant dialogue. How are space and narratives created, and who is taking a risk? Core themes to be discussed are: who is selected as exhibitor and who isn´t, gift economies, and the implicit and explicit politics of Art Book Fairs.

With Sanyana Iyer (Printed Matter Book Fairs), Qing Zhou (Shanghai Art Book Fair), Hedieh Ahmadi (Bazar Art Book Fair), Dan Mitchell (ASP London), Tokyo Art Book Fair (tbc), Noora Al Mualla (Sharjah Art Book Fair). Moderated by Pascale Obolo (African Art Book Fair) and Michalis Pichler (MISS READ).
Register HERE to attend the event for free.

Publishing as a Curatorial Practice (Wednesday August 25th, 2021, 6pm)
Book publishing is not only an editorial and technical endeavour but also an curatorial one: Caring for authors, texts, ideas and creating spaces for works, words and thoughts.

This round table looks at the curatorial aspects of publishing - on how to bring people and texts together, how to make aesthetic decisions on not only content but also the style of the publication and its sensuality. The role of the artists and the designer are crucial here to make each book a unique aesthetic experience. Editors act as curators here, stimulating discussions and creating aesthetic experiences.

With Lola Shoneyin (Director Aké Festival), Zukiswa Wanner / Paivapo PublishersAryan Kaganoff (herri magazine), Tinashe Mushakavanhu (Black Chalk). Moderated by Lweendo Hamukoma (The Commune).

Panel organised by iwalewabooks and Afrikadaa in collaboration with Miss Read.
Register HERE to attend the event for free.

Book Distribution and Circulation of Thinking in Africa (Thursday August 26th, 2021, 4pm) 
Book publishing industry is having tough times in Africa. With the penetration of internet and the reduction of readers, publishers are struggling to keep the business alive. 

This round table is the occasion to scrutinize the domain of book distribution in Africa. What are the strategies, the challenges and the hopes? Are some of the questions to be adressed during this one-hour talk. 

With Jean-Claude Awono (director of Ifrikiya publishing house), Aboubacar Demba Cissokho (cultural critic), Wanjeri Gakeru (jalada) (tbc). Moderated by Parfait Tabapsi (Mosaïques). 
Register HERE to attend the event for free.

Reading/Writing as Decolonial Practice/Action (Thursday August 26th, 2021, 6pm) 
Drawing from contributors to the workbook Decolonising Art Book Fairs: Publishing Practices from the South(s) the roundtable will sensitise and share insights into the varied publishing practices in Southern Africa and beyond. Attending to the question of audiences, the writers and their readers, the discussion centers discourses and urgencies around epistemic justice and making knowledge and research accessible; and how the formation of communities of readers and writers can be an approach towards reading/writing as decolonial practice/action.

With Mario PissaraDaniela HermosillaFouad AsfourSharlene Khan. Moderated by Nkule Mabaso and Moritz Grünke.
Register HERE to attend the event for free.

Save the Date: April 29–May 1, 2022, Miss Read (physical fair) at HKW
Applications are open, apply here.

The poster of MISS READ 2020/2021 was created by Natalie Czech

Founded in 2009, MISS READ is Europe’s art book festival dedicated to building community and creating a public meeting place for discourse around artists’ books, conceptual publications and publishing as practice.

MISS READ and Conceptual Poetics Day are funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.