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Can Non-Europeans Publish?
Nr. 4 in the series Pamphlets

by Paola Jalili

In 2017, I started working in one of the biggest publishing companies in the Spanish-speaking world. What I experienced there as a Mexican employee in a multinational company, unofficially controlled by its Spanish branch, came back to my mind years later when reading Hamid Dabashi’s essay “Can Non-Europeans Think?” In this text, Dabashi asks why non-European philosophers are only footnotes or ethnographic subgenres in the history of (Western) philosophy. This led me to ponder the role of non-European publishers in an industry widely controlled by the West and built upon intricate yet transparent neocolonial corporate structures that attempt to control and micromanage the creative and working agency of editors and designers working outside European and American hubs of publishing power. After sharing some real—but anonymized—anecdotes of my time working in this multinational publishing house that reflect the often unequal, regularly enraging, and occasionally humorous working relationships between Global South and Global North colleagues, I also invite the readers to imagine how Latin American publishing (and literature) could look like in a postcolonial future.


Paola Jalili is an independent publisher, artist, and cultural worker currently based in Helsinki.

Graphic design: Daniel Bolívar
Printed in Berlin
Language: English