In the wake of a drastic economic collapse in 2001, in which Argentina’s currency was devalued and prices for nearly everything skyrocketed, paper became a luxury many publishers could not afford. Enter Eloísa Cartonera, a small press based in Buenos Aires comprised of a handful of artists. They’ve published more than fifty books, available in stores throughout the country, with interior pages simply Xeroxed, then hand-bound between covers made from cardboard (a cartonero is someone who scavenges cardboard to sell for cash). Each cover is hand-stenciled and drawn, making every single copy a unique object in itself.
Other Latin American publishers are apparently following Eloísa Cartonera’s lead as cardboard books have begun sprouting up all over the region. A little more information can be found in this article from Arizona State University, which recently had a small exhibition of the books.