Oreri—Iniziativa Editoriale is an independent publisher rooted in Oreri’s printing workshop. We use our machines to explore new ways of conceiving, giving form to, and distributing publications related to graphic design, art, poetry, translation, fiction, and other forms of critical and political thinking that we consider important in this historical moment. Printing with risograph gives us the autonomy and the responsibility to resist the flattening of modes of publishing brought about by the market, allowing us to make time and space for new ways of thinking.
Oreri means “maker – or filler – of hours”. With the irony typical of the slang spoken in Cagliari, it is an epithet given to those who are usually busy doing nothing, the regulars of the cafés near the port who spend their days reading the sport newspapers, scrounging for coffee, or sipping on alcoholic beverages while discussing the latest controversy with other oreris. We chose this name as a tribute to our city, as a symbol of both our resistance against the dogma of productivity and our wish to cultivate heterogeneous relationships in our vicinity and further afield. Though a very local word, oreri comes from a slang informed by a port city. Cagliari has always been in constant exchange with the southern and northern shores of the western Mediterranean Sea and the Sardinian countryside. The world is full of oreris and there must be many other words to describe them.
As a press based in Cagliari, we want to be rooted and local, but at the same time connected with the world. We want to understand what it means to be active inhabitants of Sardinia and the Mediterranean region – with its multiple histories of domination, colonialism, encounter, and interdependence, which reach well beyond “the northern limit of the olive tree and the northern limit of the palm grove” (Braudel).
We believe that what makes risograph printing so interesting, beyond its aesthetic qualities, is that it is an efficient, widespread and straightforward technology, making it an ideal tool for anyone who wants to distribute print media with limited resources. We want to connect with similar initiatives in different corners of the world and work towards a model of distribution that allows books to be translated, adapted, and easily republished by other risograph printers in their own localities. Our work, like a signal bouncing from printer to printer, should be capable of promoting political awareness and opening up spaces for new alliances where it lands.