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Revolutionary Poets & Unconventional Artists

Updated: Apr 3

By the People for the People.

Keep an eye out for monthly blog posts from Libélula

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TOMB CITY: Street Artistry & Accessibility

Moving around San Diego, it’s hard to miss the many Pompurin icons stickered onto traffic signs and electrical boxes, campaign banners, skate parks, and local parks and businesses. If you look closer, you might find “TOMB” scrawled onto neighborhood signs, the sidewalks, the sides of buildings. TUMBA has been sharing their artwork for about three years, spray painting their anonymous graffiti from Barrio Logan to Los Angeles. I became a fan of their graffiti in 2023; it was hard not to notice the popular Sanrio character everywhere, especially as I grew up in México surrounded by their images. TUMBA’s desire to share their art reached me, inspiring me to think about their story, and the story of graffiti and accessibility. 


Graffiti, as a growing subculture rich with diversity and artistry since the 1970s and 1980s, has faced incredible stigmatization. The shop-owners of Libélula, Jesi and Celi, understood this when they encountered TUMBA’s art and writing for the first time in a community all three shared. This acceptance and excitement over a young person’s art that inspiration grew to create a space for graffiti art to shine and thrive in Libélula Books. 


TUMBA held their gallery debut at Libélula Books & Co. on the evening of Saturday, February 10th, bringing in one of the largest turn-outs for an event in the shop’s nearly three years. Found in La Tiny Gallery, all the pieces were created by local graffiti artists and unconventional artists, including a taxidermist and sculpturist. Each tag invited effort, from placement and location to color schemes. It’s in this intentionality that these artists shared a common goal: to be seen, to shine light on community members and their art for the sake of it. In an overheard conversation, TUMBA once expressed, “As soon as I start making money, it becomes a job and I don’t want it to be a job… Making it free makes it accessible.” Artists need spaces to hold their art, and Libélula does that with a care that ensures everyone benefits from supporting one another. 


A space that prioritizes sharing artwork, Libélula’s goal is to make art and artists’ stories accessible to those who experience their art. You can find the Tomb City in La Tiny Gallery at Libélula Books & Co., along with pricing for individual pieces.



Support your local taggers and artists:

Artwork by:

Live tattoos by Demi Flores

Music by DJ Sasha


Local San Diego Poets for Palestine: Poetry Reading & Postcard Making

Into the evening on Friday, February 16th, poets and poetry-lovers gathered to hear local poets Gracie Azua (she/her) (author of You Will Know Our Name), Jenny Sandoval (they/them) (author of Nectar and Butterfly in the Spring), Gabriel Hernandez (they/them), Kris Lopez (they/them), and Vianney Harelly (she/her) (author of Here Are the Tears I You We Didn't Cry, Before I Weeped I Was Angry, and The Plants Are Burning) read their work in solidarity with Palestine, as well as the work of Palestinian poets. Folks were wearing Palestinian colors, some adorned with a kaffiyeh, to express their shared solidarity. On this day, the death toll in Gaza was at 36,000+ lost, with 70% of those passed being women and children. Poets and attendees held space for and grappled with the loss, grief, anxiety, depression, anger and frustration, and loneliness of experiencing, simultaneously, the effects of colonization and the guilt of complicity in the U.S.’s role in the conflict. As Vianney Harelly expressed, the propaganda and inconsistent coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict functions to sell the public the idea of an American Dream that maintains our complacency and profitability. In resistance to this, poets and attendees worked on postcards that Harelly later mailed to U.S. government officials, locally and in D.C., in protest to the genocide and in advocation for all colonized peoples. 


During the readings, I experienced a brief moment of surreality; it was difficult not to feel the whiplash of cognitive dissonance that living in the U.S. elicits. As Jesi expressed after the readings, our ancestry and revolutionary spirit flows through us, fertilizing the soil that we all stand and work on. We are nourished by this dirt; in that, I felt tethered to the others in the space, and to the community at large. That is the power in these readings: to know we are not alone in our rage against the American Dream, nor are we alone in our small, everyday acts toward freedom and justice. 


For more information on future poetry readings and protest art-making, visit the “Event Space” tab on our website for an updated calendar. 



Upcoming Events

Red Tarot Book Launch

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

6:30PM to 9:30PM

Find the book here!




Celebrate Christopher Marmolejo's authorial debut!


Giveaways, live reading, book signing, & comida! Bring your favorite tarot deck!


Red Tarot: A Decolonial Guide to Divinatory Literacy is Christopher Marmolejo's debut collection of essays and their presentation of red divinatory philosophy and praxis.


Copies will be available in store.

For all ages.





Cafe con Pam: Live with Ashley Ojeda

Sunday, March 10, 2024

9:00AM to 11:00AM

Ticketed Entry!




Pam Covarrubias of Cafe con Pam goes live with Ashley Ojeda, author of Jefa in Training.



BOOK CLUB: All About Love by bell hooks

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

6:30PM to 8:00PM

Join us for our bi-monthly book club with our selection All About Love by bell hooks. Copies are available in store.

Love Letters & Poetry Writing Workshop

Letterpress Workshop at Bread & Salt Gallery

Book Fair at Elevate School

San Diego Book Crawl 2024





Everything in the shop is for sale (except the cats!). Find your next favorite book, zine, art piece, or fun trinket during your first stop of the San Diego Book Crawl.







Miss out on our last post? Click here for last month's scoop!
 

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Thanks for reading,

dani


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