Unlock Book Fair Cologne 2019


August 31 & September 1

Publishers | Programme

Warm-up party: Friday 30

➔ Read about the fair’s highlights ✍️

Come and see graffiti books and zines!

The Unlock Book Fair is the annual meeting of the international graffiti and street art publishing scene. Two days of publications, talks, book launches, screenings and all-round fun!

After three instalments in Barcelona, Berlin and Amsterdam, and several offshoot events in cities across Europe, the fair travels to Cologne to team up with CityLeaks Urban Art Festival.

Where and when

➔ Hüttenstraße, under the railway arches
➔ Saturday 31 — 12pm–8pm
➔ Sunday 1 — 11am–5pm
Free entrance

An open-air graffiti book fair

Both the book fair and its public programme will be located outdoors, below the arches of the elevated railway in Ehrendfeld. A most fitting setting for a graffiti event!

The street will be blocked to car traffic for the whole weekend. Many other activities of CityLeaks Festival will take place during the weekend, including talks and DJ sets, at least until 1AM – the book fair will be surrounded by a block party!

Public programme of events

One of the arches under the railways will host the public programme of the fair, featuring book launches, lectures, presentations of very special projects and a live dance act.

CityLeaks will run a DIY publishing studio next to the fair available for exhibitors to produce zines, posters and art prints.

Tag: Name Writing in Public Space

On the two days immediately after the fair, and also in Cologne, the Unlock team welcomes you again to the Tag Conference, the academic and non-academic event for research about tagging. Entrance is free.

Both the Unlock Book Fair and the Tag Conference are presented as the opening chapters for event the program of CityLeaks festival 2019.


Local producers: CityLeaks

Unlock Book Fair 2019 support
Unlock Book Fair Cologne 2019


288KK Press
Publisher | PL

Self-publishing author | DE

Alex Ander.52
Self-publishing author | GR

Magazine | NL

Magazine | DE

Magazine | DE

Chemistry Publishing
Publisher | NL

Magazine | DE

Cut in the Fence
Publisher | US

Death Vallée
Self-publishing author | FR

Dokument Press
Publisher | SE

Éditions Carton-Pâte
Publisher | FR

futura Publications
Publisher | GR

Zine | NL

Publisher, store and distributor | DE

Magazine | IL

International Neighbourhood
Publisher | DE

Kudla Werkstatt
Publisher | CZ

Le Grand Jeu
Bookstore | FR

Nokkio Institute of Zines
Publisher | BE/HU

Nuart Journal
Magazine | NO

Publisher | DE/BY

Pressure Expansion Valve
Magazine | GR

Publisher | UK

Publisher | IT

Slap Me Baby
Magazine | CH

Publisher | NL

Publisher | DE

Publisher | ES

Wolf Daubin
Self-publishing author | DE

Zelle Asphaltkultur
Self-publishing collective | DE

Magazine | DE

Unlock Book Fair Cologne 2019


Warm-up party! Friday 30th

➔ Dedicated Store
➔ Hamburger Str. 18

➔ Vinyl sets

Hip-hop, rare groove and funk
By DJ Olek and DJ Pushen

➔ Screening

Inside the gancheros meeting (raw footage)
63’, 2014 (loop)
Nofrontery Films and Adrian Macías (MX)

➔ 20h — Talk

Introduction to the Unlock Book Fair project
With director Javier Abarca

Saturday August 31

➔ 14h — Screening

‘Aufkleber und Artverwandtes around Europe’
120’ loop
Slap me Baby collective (CH)

➔ 16h — Screening

‘Inside the gancheros meeting’
10’, 2019
Kooperativa Rayenari and Sabotaje Media (MX) present a rare look into the obscure “ganchos” tagging culture of Monterrey

➔ 16:15h — Talk

Christian Omodeo (FR) presents Grintz, a collaborative database of graffiti and street art publications

➔ 16:30 — Workshop

Add your publications to the Grintz database
With Christian Omodeo (FR)

➔ 16:30 — Publication launches

‘Let’s disappear’
By Bus 126
With publishers Hitzerot (DE)

With the magazine’s editorial team (DE)

‘Punk graffiti archives: The Netherlands’
‘Punk graffiti archives: Madrid’
Second editions
Published by Urbanario (ES) and Hitzerot (DE)
With co-editor Javier Abarca (ES)

➔ 17h — Talks

Adam Void (US)
Presentation of the publishing project Cut in the Fence

Mathieu Tremblin (FR)
‘Open source publishing as an alternative to the art-object-driven economy’

Carl Cattermole (UK)
Reading from his book ‘Prisonism’ (Penguin 2019)

➔ 20h — Live act

‘Movement of Letters’
By dancer and calligrapher Kadir ‘Amigo’ Memis (DE)

Sunday September 1

➔ 12h—Publication launches

‘Eisensteppe, Spuren des Hoboismus in Deutschland’
Published by Hitzerot (DE)
With author Jan Klöthe (DE)

‘Nuart Journal’ issue 3 (NO)
With editor Susan Hansen (UK)

‘2019 questions’
With author and publisher abcdef (DE)

‘Rail experimental, Belgian train worker art’
By Ben Brohanszky (BE/HU)
With co-publishers Hitzerot (DE)

‘A’Dam graffity’
By Ben Brohanszky (BE/HU)
With co-publishers Hitzerot (DE)

Unlock Book Fair Cologne 2019

The Unlock Book Fair and its highlights: Cologne, 2019 ✍️

The Unlock Book Fair took place earlier this month in Cologne. This was the fourth annual meeting of the independent graffiti publishing scene, with book makers and lovers from across Europe and a graffiti-related public programme.

This year’s location was particularly fitting: two of the abandoned arches under the railway in the Ehrenfeld area. The fair was part of the opening weekend of CityLeaks festival. The street was blocked to car traffic, with music and other events going on in different arches all day and until midnight.

The lineup again included projects from all across Europe, and also from other continents – ‘Insomnia’, the first graffiti magazine from Israel, and US publishing house Cut in the Fence, co-directed by Adam Void, who gave a lively presentation about the project.

Two particularly ambitious and long-awaited projects were launched at this year’s fair. One is ‘Boulevard’ magazine, edited by the German authors and curators Robert Kaltenhäuser and Harald Hinz. This first issue of the magazine features, among other things, a collection of relevant essays from different eras that either have been long out of print or had never been translated to English.

More awesome graffiti stuff

The second groundbreaking contribution is Grintz, directed by Paris-based curator Christian Omodeo, a collaborative online database for graffiti and street art publications that is sure to change the game for aficionados the world over.

Other highlights of the fair’s public programme were the screening of the film ‘Inside the Gancheros Meeting’, a rare look into the obscure ‘ganchos’ tagging culture of Monterrey, México, and the closing dance performance by Turkish-German calligrapher and choreographer Kadir ‘Amigo’ Memis.

On the Monday and Tuesday directly after the fair, and also in Cologne, the same team behind the 2019 Unlock Book Fair produced the third instalment of the Tag Conference, a unique gathering of researchers dealing with different forms of tagging of all eras.

Big thank-you to all the publishers and volunteers, to CityLeaks and to everyone who came. Thanks to Dedicated Store, the hub of the local graffiti scene, who kindly hosted the fair’s warm-up party on the Friday evening.

See you at the next Unlock Book Fair! 📚🔥❤️🎉

Unlock Book Fair