Here’s what to look forward to in the 24-hour event this Feb 29 – March 1 with activists, graveyard shifters, open-call artists, and women in music.
If you happen to take a stroll along Chino Roces, you might have been able to discover a hidden art gallery, coffee shop, or authentic Korean store in the busy and bustling area. With over 15 galleries and corporate buildings looming over its inhabitants, there rested Kwago, the only homegrown independent bookstore in Makati.
Known to many as a treasure box for rare and highly-niche books, Kwago is also a hidden “tambayan” to writers, artists, and even tech communities who look forward to the store’s cultural programs, like their Komura; book and zine fair, art exhibitions, gigs, and the pay-what-you-want beers in between the events.
This is why when Kwago closed down their space in La Fuerza last November, people were quick to post and comment, “where is Kwago?”
However, the bookstore took people by surprise when they recently announced the launch of their new space with an overnight event from 1PM of February 29th until 1Pm of March 1st. Backed by the founders of Purveyr magazine, the new space will be in Bangkal Makati, where the previous Purveyr Post used to be at.
With an event page named “Where is Kwago?” and a series of word search photos to hint at their new address, Kwago broke the news and proved that print is not dead, especially not with the strong support of a community.
If the 24-hour duration of the event isn’t enough, here are some event deets that make this launch even more strange and exciting at the same time:
An exhibition of works by 40 artists within 24 hours
Who says artworks can only exist within spacious white walls and for long periods of time? Opening the launch is an exhibit entitled 24 hours, a transient group show that Czyka Tumaliuan and Roy Voragen of Comma curated with artists who aim to problematize our evolving notion of time and chaotic space. Over 40 works by different artists will be spread across the bookstore’s walls, all responding to “the nonsense, the cacophony, the incoherence… how to make sense of it all?” Global queer artist Alfred Marasigan will also be doing a livestream performance during the event, all the way from London.
A graveyard shift with women in music
From 10 PM until 6:30 AM on Feb 29 – Mar 1, Kwago invited women in the local music industry to perform in a series of gigs from dusk until dawn. Somber and empowering, the all-women program is bringing in tunes from artists like Yassy T. and Pamcy. Headliners will be revealed on the day itself!
Comics by Rob Cham that hints at this country’s political climate
To be displayed on the new bookshop’s window, a piece by comic artist Rob Cham illustrating our country’s bloodshed streets will be one of the first things visitors will see once they reach the venue. Whether or not the work disturbs you, the picture is all too familiar as it takes spotlight in the space.
Komura; forum and zine launch
The heart and soul of many of Kwago’s visions, Komura; is their annual intimate book and zine fair that gathers local authors and readers in one space. As a special program for the launch, Czyka Tumalian of Kwago and Kayla Dionisio of Warehouse Eight, both the co-founders of Komura, are moderating a forum on the importance of business acumen to keep independent initiatives like the bookstore alive. The event will also launch the winning zine of the Komura; Creators Grant recipients, Marren Adan, Val Angeles, and Kristian Dalao.
A slow brunch for creative writers
More than just a store that sells books, Kwago is also big on nurturing the discipline of writers and authors who serve as the backbone of the literary community. To cap off the event, there will be a casual conversation about self-publishing and creative writing with Marguerite Alcazaren De Leon, author of the book People in Panic.
All you have to do is donate what you can to join the fun!
Anyone is welcome to stay the night! To join and support the new bookshop, just donate anything you can! There will even be an open mic from 12 AM until 2 AM—nuff said.
These are only some of the features of the 24-hour event. Did I mention that artist-activist Jon Olarte will be performing during the night? Or that there will be a DnD game in the morning? Plus the highly-curated selections of books and zines for sale?
See you there!
POP! Creator Community/Bea Constantino