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Creating this book has been a practice of homage to the work of Francis Alÿs, in particular, his 2013 book Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get To The River, which we (writer alys longley and designer Jeffrey Holdaway) have closely referred to in terms of page design, aesthetic ideas, and writing structure. Working so closely with Alÿs’s book has been a kind of artistic conversation between pages, and one we have found extremely lively and hopeful. This has allowed us to work, in a design sense, with questions of how we contain each other – the permissions we give or withhold in what language and pages can do or not do, and in the case of this homage to Alÿs, what we are able to say of artistic processes and collaboration. Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get To The River is a book that reflects on impossibility, failure, reorienting a project in scale, imagination, form and collaborative method in relation to the constraints and affordances that emerge in specific geopolitical sites. Like Alÿs’s projects at the borders of nations, this project, Beberemos El Vino Nuevo, Juntos!, has sought to make connections between strangers in an era of magnified distance. It has been a real gift to have Alÿs’s work to inspire us and provide us with hope, through this era of impossibility and despair. It has helped us to appreciate anew the way that books and artworks can be essential friends, and touchstones of inspiration, in turbulent times.

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