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Summer school 2024 Academy of Margins - open call

Academy of Margins – Summer school 2024
Collective Learning on Situated Publishing

Robida is welcoming everyone to the 2024 program of the Academy of Margins Summer School (here you can read something about the 2022 and 2023 editions). The program of the summer school will revolve around the topic of situated publishing and the many possible tangential points between publishing or editorial practices and the place.

→ Read the whole application and the guidelines here
→ Apply through the dedicated google form



Robida magazine in relation to Topolò

At a certain point in our editorial journey, we started naming Robida a situated magazine. Not only because it originates, is imagined and designed in a very specific place, the village of Topolò/Topolove where some of us are based, but also because the place has guided and stimulated us in the selection of topics, themes, and reflections. Ten years after the release of the first issue, we are still full of questions and curiosity about how a territory with its history and geography, a place with its forests, stream and steep paths, a village where the houses lean one over the other can influence the course of a cultural inquiry that culminates, year after year, within our publication.

Moreover, our rootedness in the place has generated practices and initiatives that go beyond print media, sparking our interest in tools such as the radio with its intimate narrowcasting possibilities and placeful websites, but it also brought us to develop a desire to meet realities similar to ours, openness to what develops in completely different contexts, and the desire to share thoughts and experiences. Many of our annual activities stem from this, such as the Academy of Margins and its Summer School. The latter in particular, more than any other, opens our situated world to people curious to explore new perspectives and learn alongside us how to exercise curiosity and attention.
We are grateful to have always received an enthusiastic response to our initiatives. We are pleased to see that our collective has grown over time, spreading out like rhizomes, creating hoped-for or unexpected connections, fertile bonds that have filled us year after year with inspiration and energy.

For this reason, we have decided to involve you even more intimately in our research work and to explore with you the theme of situated publishing and collective learning during the upcoming August Summer School. We invite you to reflect with us on the future of our editorial work, to explore its infinite possibilities for development, to venture together into and with the place, to receive inspiration and suggestions.

We are eager to meet enthusiastic people with experience in the editorial field, design, research methods, writing, and idea generation who will share with us and the other participants methodologies and approaches both theoretically and practically.
We are curious to reexamine the foundations of editorial practice to create new, collective, and situated ones.



Topic of the summer school – About situated publishing

The Academy of Margins Summer School will explore what we tentatively call situated publishing, meaning publishing practices that hold, host, are informed by and reflect places. The week of collective learning will be guided by the following questions: how can publishing formats and methods reflect places? Is there a difference between publishing from a city or a rural environment? How do places enter publications – beyond the usual formality of being mentioned in colophons? Can publishing—whose main goal is to be dispersed, distributed widely and circulating—be also situated, localised, grounded and site-informed?
The simplest question could be: what role does place have in publishing practices? The city where a publication is printed is usually the only localised information we find in printed publications, which is always more frequently detached from the place where publications are edited, assembled and designed since publishers tend to opt to print in countries where labour and materials are cheaper – it’s quite common in fact to read in colophons that books are produced in Estonia, Lithuania or sometimes even in China. And even not including this merely technical geographical information and considering that many collective publishing efforts are born from online collaborations and are even not printed anymore, is placeness at all a fertile question to dig into? In a time of translocality, do locality and hyper-locality hold the potential to be explored as concepts? Placeness does not open only reflections on geographical locations but includes questions about communities, (cultural) contexts, temporalities, rhythms, and (shared) ways of living.

We borrowed the term "situated" from Donna Haraway’s essay "Situated Knowledges: the Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective" (1988). The term then made us reflect upon the concrete and everyday partial perspective we developed while living and working from Topolò, a mountain village of 25 people on the border between Italy and Slovenia, where some of the members of our collective live. Our situated magazine is held, hosted, supported and informed by this specific place and the view we have to the world from here, which doesn't necessarily mean that the content of our publication speaks about this locality. It is maybe situated because its reason to be is deeply grounded in our specific context. It is maybe situated because the cyclical change of seasons, which we are immersed in, impacts how we work, how we stay together, and what we think. The village and its landscape host our walks during the pauses while designing the magazine and from the walks we bring back traces that graphically enter the magazine and our memories.



A summer school on publishing and landscape

How to turn landscape into a publication?

During the Summer School week we would like to explore the topic of situated publishing through its many entry points, possibly exploring many different phases of publishing processes, from writing, to binding, to designing, from reading and researching to editing, from intimately building things to publicly presenting them – and we want to do all of this while staying with the place, including it in our activities, trying to explore the tangential points between writing, editing, printing, folding, glueing, binding, reading, leafing through and the forest, the river, the dry stone walls, the small houses, the grass fields, the abandoned orchards, the paths, the mountain, the border.

Similarly to last year’s edition, we invite participants to apply to the Summer School by proposing activities, workshops, lectures, experiments, presentations, collective moments of debates which explore the many relations between publishing and place. We imagine activities dedicated to specific parts of the publishing process—research, writing, designing, binding, broadcasting, reading—or theoretical lectures about personal or collective research and editorial practices. We would like to mix theoretical contributions and concrete ones.

Note: We understand it is difficult to propose something which relates to a place without knowing the specificities of the place itself, its history and its atmospheres, for this reason we expect the proposal to be very short and open to adjustments that can be done together with us!

→ Read the whole application and the guidelines here