The guest editors’ introduction to ARTMargins Issue: 1:2–3 proposes that the dynamic marginal art scenes that developed under Latin American military dictatorships and in Late Socialist Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s were characterized by their commitment to freedom and its furthering through cultural exchange and networking. To the extent that direct exchange was controlled from above, its significance, from below, increased in inverse proportion. From the peripheries of the Cold War, a marginal cultural intelligentsia sought creative ways to inhabit counter-cartographies and to foster an alternative sense of belonging. The introduction gives an overview of the transnational networks developed by artists operating outside a market framework, with a view to highlighting the need for scholars to rethink the complexity of past, present and future fields of international artistic exchange.

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