Dulcinéia Catadora: Cardboard Corporeality and Collective Art in Brazil


  • Elizabeth Gray Brown University


Latin American Literature, Latin American Cultural Studies, Brazilian Literature, Latin American Art, Latin American Performance


As a counter to the economic and social conditions brought on by neoliberalism, the alternative publishing movement cartonera began creating handmade, cardboard bound books in Argentina in 2003. Centering on a Brazilian offshoot of the first cartonera, this article traces Dulcinéia Catadora’s creative practices of producing and disseminating literature in collaboration with the catadores (garbage pickers) of the Cooperglicério recycling collective. Dulcinéia reimagines art as a collective rather than an individual pursuit as they hold literature workshops in São Paulo’s landfills, and perform “interventions” where participants dress in cardboard and recite poetry in the city center. The collective inverts and interrupts marginalized and hegemonic spaces, and makes visible the people and refuse that state regulation continually disappears to the periphery. Challenging international publishing conglomerates, Dulcinéia proposes the dissemination of literature as a socio-political encounter and invites the negotiation of the thrall to ephemerality in cardboard books. 

Author Biography

Elizabeth Gray, Brown University

Department of Comparative Literature

Graduate Student




How to Cite

Gray, E. (2017). Dulcinéia Catadora: Cardboard Corporeality and Collective Art in Brazil. A Contracorriente: Una Revista De Estudios Latinoamericanos, 15(3), 240–268. Retrieved from https://acontracorriente.chass.ncsu.edu/index.php/acontracorriente/article/view/1496



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