Libby Leshgold Gallery

Publishing the Present: An Archive of Mutual Care and Action is an ongoing archival project beginning in 2020 collecting independent publications that respond to this contemporary moment of international urgency. Produced as part of Wendy’s Subway’s online residency at READ Books and the Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the archive gathers these publications as an incomplete document of the present, that attests to ongoing histories of struggle for justice, and the current international crisis which informs our collective imagination of radically better futures. The archive aims challenge the conditions that have contributed to this current crisis, considering public health and justice in the broadest sense — including the ongoing global pandemic and its intersection with the crises of capitalism; mass incarceration; police violence; white supremacy; attacks on Black, Indigenous, immigrant, LGTBQIA, and disabled lives; environmental devastation; authoritarianism; housing insecurity and increasing economic precarity; among many other threats to human life and dignity.


In centering the work of independent publishers, we strive to document how creative networks have produced and disseminated urgent, nuanced, and collective responses that contribute to sociopolitical change on local and international scales. Mapping the intersections between social movements, activist efforts, emergency response, mutual aid, protest, resistance, and artists’ publications provides a framework for a broader consideration of the role of creative and critical publishing practice in facilitating social transformation.


With this archive we invite you to consider: What new forms can community solidarity and mutual aid take in this time of crisis? How can independent publishing ecosystems support networks of care actively counteracting systems of oppression?


Publishing the Present: An Archive of Mutual Care and Action is developed by Wendy’s Subway, and presented by the Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and READ Books, as part of the Summer School for Artists’ Publishing series for 2020. Lead research by Wendy’s Subway Digital Initiatives and Education Fellow Marian Chudnovsky, and graphic design by Ritu Ghiya.


Wendy's Subway is a non-profit reading room, writing space, and independent publisher located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Since our founding in 2013, we have provided an open and versatile platform for expanding modes of reading, writing, and publishing. Wendy’s Subway is dedicated to encouraging creative, critical, and discursive engagement with arts and literature, with the belief that equitable access to reading and collaborative forms of knowledge-production are catalysts for social transformation.





Canada Council for the Arts