Publishing the Present: An Archive of Mutual Care and Action is an ongoing archival project that begun 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 global crisis which informs our collective imagination of radically better futures. The archive aims to challenge the conditions that have contributed to this current crisis, considering public health and justice in the broadest sense—including the ongoing 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?



Still accepting submissions

Publishing the Present: An Archive of Mutual Care and Action continues to accept submissions on an ongoing basis. Please review our submission guidelines and form for more information.

Past events in the series

Communal Care and Liberation: Publishing for Radical Futures 

This conversation between Adriana Monsalve of Homie House Press and MJ Balvanera of Co-Conspirator Press, moderated by Emmy Catedral took place on December 3rd, 202o. The recording above features discussions of the work of both speakers, including their recent publications and communal organizational structures, as well as moderated questions about avoiding burnout and making work with care. This event centered on publishing as a site of collective praxis and community building, exploring the role of independent publishers in creating frameworks for imagining better futures and facilitating direct responses to urgent communal needs.

Artist-Publishers, Care, and Social Action with Beatrix Pang and Paul Soulellis

The first event hosted as part of Wendy’s Subway’s online residency at the Libby Leshgold Gallery and READ Books, featured a conversation between Beatrix Pang (ZINE COOP, Queer Reads Library 流動閱酷, Small Tune Press) and Paul Soulellis (Queer.Archive.Work). The above recording from the online event that took place on July 30th, 2020 features presentations by both Paul and Beatrix, describing their practices as independent, artist-publishers, and the different ways in which they are working to use their publications to engage in social justice work. Their brief presentations were followed by a Q& A period, featuring audience questions ranging from “how are you reimagining collective creative practices in this changing landscape” to specific questions about publications each speaker had produced.


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 design / web development by Ritu Ghiya.

Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver BC V5T 0H2 Canada |

The Libby Leshgold Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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.


Territorial Acknowledgement: The Libby Leshgold Gallery respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the unceded, traditional and ancestral xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.