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Nina Prader, Indiecon
At work with

Nina Prader, Indiecon

Artist, writer and curator Nina Prader has been co-organising and co-curating annual indie mag festival Indiecon for five years. She looks ahead at this year’s edition, which takes place next weekend, as she shares her week.

Originally from Washington DC, Nina now bounces moves between Vienna, Berlin, and Hamburg with her various roles. Alongside Indiecon, she runs Lady Liberty Press & Library, an alternative library, showroom and resource center for independent publishing in Berlin.


What are you doing this Monday morning?
I turn on the open sign at Lady Liberty Library and Showroom, open the windows to the small rooftop community garden at the art house Acud. Flip the switch on the library’s showroom lights, illuminating our current exhibition ‘Bootleg Library: AHAB: Architectural Hopscotch—Auspicious Bootlegs’ by Cutt Press and Hopscotch Reading Room. Sit down at my librarian post, flip open my laptop.

Hello, E-mail box. Is the indiemags, artist book, small press and storytellers planet ready to rumble for this year’s edition of the Indiecon multiverse? Have all last-minute visa letters for speakers been approved?

Curation is far less glamorous than it sounds. It’s a lot of carefully worded texts, e-mails, Zoom call meetings, and voice messages with other curators, speakers, and publishers. Has everything gone to print? Is everyone represented? Check-in with my colleagues at Die Brueder, who founded the Indiecon festival 10 years ago. Malte Spindler of Die Brueder has packed up all of the hand-printed risograph pamphlets and prints fresh from his Lucky Punch Press. Social media is buzzing. I am filled with a sense of giddy anticipation.

Where are you today?
I am just about to head to the train station—my fourth home and office—to set up the publishing playground known as Indiecon at Oberhafen. Living and working between Vienna, Berlin and Hamburg, trains are one of the few spaces, where I can sort my thoughts and task lists. The irony, that Indiecon takes place at a former train freight yard is not lost on me.

What can you see from your desk/ through the window?
I am lucky that most of the desks I sit at have views onto gardens. Palettes filled with soil, rosemary, and lavender bushes in Berlin, a line of trees in Vienna, moving landscapes from my train window, and a sandpit and urban garden at Oberhafen, Hamburg.


Mad maagzine cover, Octover 1999 issue

Which magazine do you first remember?
Gosh, it’s hard to discern one, I grew up in a household surrounded by magazines and books. Mad magazine really captivated me and activated my love for pop culture and humour, authored by ‘the usual gang of idiots‘. Also, my first freelance gigs ever as a kid was for Stone Soup Magazine, which is a literary magazine for kids by kids.

Cover of Solimiya magazine, issue one

Which magazine matters to you the most this morning?

It’s a close call between Solomiya magazine and their publishing efforts despite the war and Afghan Punk Magazine which debunks narratives on Afghan identities.  


Indiecon festival, 2022

Describe Indiecon in three words.
Independent publishing multiverse.

You always ask Indiecon participants ‘What is indie?’ What is your definition?
Indie is creating beautiful publishing platforms on your own terms and sharing resources across communities.


The tenth edition of Indiecon takes place this week. How has the indie world changed over those years?
In a world of heightened speed, fake news and disconnection, independent publishing is a remedy, transporting messages of empowerment, life quality and connection.

Every publication at Indiecon brings people together. Independent magazines are extremely crucial for creating contemporary and relevant platforms and blueprinting better futures. Many initiatives crop up because they don’t see their voices adequately represented on the mainstream markets.

Some of the most beautiful magazines are independent magazines because there is so much care in the quality of paper, design work and distribution politics. Independent magazines require extra care due to their uniqueness.


Indiecon festival 2022

Why should someone reading this attend Indiecon?

Come celebrate our 10th anniversary with us! Join 120 exhibitors and agents of print from 20 different countries, break bread, toast, listen to the other maker’s presentations, and receive mentoring on how to further develop respective zines, artist books, or magazines!

Berlin-based risoprint studio Colorama will talk about strategies for the small press community. Artist books curated by will receive a particular limelight. Just two things among many other highlights you can find on our program website.


What are you most looking forward to this coming week?
Indiecon! 10 years feels like a milestone. I can’t wait for all of the discussions, roundtables, workshops, and expert talks with some truly visionary people and the amazing food and coffee. That is really were new ideas are sparked in person and new publishing initiatives grow from.

I am really proud of the entire team, the founders, Die Brueder Malte & Urs Spindler, our Social Media wizard Marcel Wicker, on-site manager Lara Gahlow, designer Timo Durst, the curators Jae Kyung Kim, Lubi Barre, Steven Watson, Johanna Maierski; and we are so grateful to all of the people who have stuck it out and supported the festival over the years as exhibitors, volunteers, co-designers, allies, funders etc.

Photographs above of Indiecon 2022 by Malte Spindler, Die Brueder, Indiecon
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