Mariel Miranda

Communal Library [2022-]

Sometimes, I forget that the work in the neighborhoods is rooted in a feminist practice that women have always carried out. I think of the examples of the Argentinean and Chilean villas and the many examples of organizational work in Mexican neighborhoods that come up from below and from the left. I have often recalled the impactful example of my mother and my neighbor Teresa Buenrostro’s community work.

Because of them and the political bond that I share with my younger brother Mario Miranda, we used our resources to open a communal library in the summer of 2022. It is located in the space that once housed a small “bodega” that was owned and operated by my mother. It was her primary source of income and supported our family for almost 20 years. After ten years of being closed, we renovated that room and transformed it into a community space. It contains books, games, sports balls, art supplies and Wi-Fi  accessible without cost to anyone who would like to use it. 

Our most frequent guests are kids, teenagers, and mothers. The library is a laboratory, a space that stands in resistance, a living entity that generates encounters, ties, and friendships. It reminds us of our commonalities, to care for each other in our communal well-being. 

In a neo-eco-capitalistic era that profits from dividing us, coming together, and relishing in a shared connection is a powerful statement in opposition to everything around us that aim to keep us apart. At the library, we understand that is crucial to actively seek out moments of collective work as a form of rebellion. For us, collective joy is a source of personal strength and resilience, a reminder that we can cultivate our collective happiness and find hope in these challenging neoecocapitalistic times.