24 June, 2021
Loudreaders is an open pedagogical platform and free trade school, that engages with architectural education as a form of mutual aid and critical solidarity in the age of COVID-19. It is based on the emancipating and persecuted alternative practice of education performed by lectors like Luisa Capetillo in the tobacco factories in the Caribbean. The practice was simple. While tobacco workers engaged in the alienating labour of rolling cigars, they would hire one of their own to read aloud for them during the entire work-day. While the readings consisted mostly of newspapers, magazines, and literature, the Loudreaders focused on Darwin, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Marx, and Engels fomenting an anti-capitalist, decolonial imagination. As the practice of loud-reading grew, the lectures (Loudreaders) will become travelling performers with an international audience, creating new networks of solidarity all around the Caribbean as well as a massive, shared, and open access oral library to workers who were denied any other form of formal education. The tobacco workers turned the mind-numbing characteristics of their repetitive, manual, and boring work of rolling cigars into an advantage, using the same space and tools of their capitalist exploitation to create an anti-capitalist underground culture.