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Closed for expansion and renovations


This is Common-interest

Are Women the Natural Enemies of Books?

A series of public events accompanying the exhibition Off the Grid, organised by the staff and teachers of Graphic Design at KASK – School of Arts Gent.

The title of this talk refers to the eponymous 1937 article by American author Anne Lyon Haight, which draws a history of notable women bibliophiles. Nowadays, book publishing is rarely regarded as a ‘gentlemanly trade’, but it might come as a surprise to learn that women in publishing outnumber men by far. Currently, 78% of the American book publishing industry is staffed by women. However, as in most other fields, a gender pay gap persists, and very few of the top executive positions are filled by women. In 2017, the Guardian reported that the ‘higher echelons [of the publishing trade] are becoming as white, male and middle class as in other industries.’ In this talk, common-interest will discuss women’s role in this changing industry, by tracing women’s struggles in publishing through the second half of the twentieth century, focusing on the art, design, and architecture book trade.

Nina Paim is a Brazilian designer, researcher and curator who lives and works in Basel. She lectures extensively, and has curated numerous exhibitions, workshops and events, most notably Taking a Line for a Walk at the 2014 Biennial of Graphic Design Brno, and Department of Non-Binaries at the 2018 Fikra Design Biennial in Sharjah. In 2016, she co-conceived and edited Taking a Line for a Walk, published by Spector Books Leipzig. In 2018, she co-founded with Corinne Gisel the non-profit design research practice common-interest.