|Look! There on the worlds rim, a flickering metallic light pierces through the blistering summer heat. Maybe theyre alien invaders who have come to steal us from a summer of can-kicking, stone-skipping and mischief-making. It looks like a spacecraft, a silver bullet, but no
oh, I see its a 1959 Airstream trailer. Its what weve been waiting for all summer while lying lazily under bleachers, flicking ice around the bottom of a Slurpee cup. Its Calgarys third visit from the Bookmobile.
I know what youre thinking; no, this is not a car made out of books. Rather, it is a travelling library, shuttling stunning amounts of independent publications, zines and books across Canada and the States by way of a quasi-futuristic metallic trailer. Created by community organizers and volunteers primarily based in Montreal and Philadelphia, the Bookmobile annual tour touches down at more cities than the average rock concert, and it will be in Calgary on Monday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 21.
The Bookmobiles mandate: to facilitate the dissemination and promotion of independent, artistic, literary creations and to expose people to the possibilities of community-driven initiatives. With infectious enthusiasm, these dedicated nomads celebrate the idea that such happenings can act as a generative vehicle for self-driven political and/or artistic endeavours. Their collection is juried each year, and houses a wide and diverse range of material from all over North America. As well as touring books, the Bookmobile also organizes and facilitates artist talks, video screenings, educational forums and workshops with the co-operation of external partners that have a more fixed locale. This year the Bookmobile stops off at the Calgary Public Library and the artist-run Stride Gallery, which is hosting a bookbinding workshop.
So dont be deceived by the glimmering, toaster-like beauty of the trailer make sure to go in, sit down, relax and read. Relish the fact that you are experiencing books that are hot off the press/desk/copier, and that you are with a collection that is as transient as the Bookmobile itself. It only comes around once a year, its different every time, its full of thought and creation, and the only thing that is going to stop it from leaving is a flat tire. For more information, contact the Stride Gallery or go to www.mobilivre.org.