Friday Finds: Kayfa Ta on ‘Shapeshifting Texts and Other Publishing Tactics’

In 2012, Ala Younis and Maha Maamoun founded Kayfa ta as an independent publishing initiative that “emerged from a need to break out of the limited readership and distribution of alternative books”:

Since its founding, Kayfa ta (or How To) has championed books that violate genre expectations and are not driven by marketability, with brilliant titles that include Haytham al-Wardani’s How to Disappear, Iman Mersal’s How to Heal: Motherhood and Its Ghosts, and Amr Ezzat’s How to Remember Your Dreams.

Their project is also interested in identifying the mechanisms of gatekeeping in art and publishing that “shape and limit the voices and practices that have access to a wider public.”

In 2019, Kayfa ta expanded its interest into understanding the wider field of publishing and distribution. Their talk, below, explores contemporary publishing and distribution “as a revealing entry point to understanding contemporary efforts to limit and expand the space of the commons.”

Watch on YouTube: