Argentina’s Billiken is the world’s longest-running children’s magazine. Founded by Constancio C. Vigil in November 1919 it has been continuously published in Argentina and was previously distributed across Latin America. Billiken celebrated its centenary with issue number 5143.
With funding from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Dr Lauren Rea is leading research into the history and legacy of this magazine, and is working with Billiken’s publisher, Editorial Atlántida, on the future of the brand.
Billiken is an archival treasure trove of educational material, illustrated short and serialised stories, comic strips, graphic novels, craft activities, readers’ letters, photographs, cover artwork and publicity. The Billiken Centenary Project draws on different fields including Cultural History, Literature, History of Education, Childhood Studies and Graphic Design to understand how the changes in the magazine over the years both reflect and shape the perceived role of children in Argentine society.
Over the last century, Billiken has maintained near continuous publication in the face of Argentina’s shifting political and economic climates. The Billiken Centenary Project considers how children’s reading practices and engagement with popular culture have changed over the last hundred years as Billiken today faces the challenges that the digital world increasingly poses to all forms of print culture,