The next November 2 begins an initiative in social networks with the aim of publicize, disseminate, encourage reading and celebrate the richness of unstoppable African letters. Despite their dynamism and the fact that they never cease to amaze and renew themselves, they are still unknown or undervalued among us. Although it is felt and seen that, in recent years, interest has been increasing, there is still a long way to go.
But the way, we already know, it is done walking.
As we like to focus on the positive, we are convinced that the more they talk about them, the more these books or others are disseminated, the more presence and demand they will have among us. This is how this campaign arises, which ultimately it is a direct appeal to all of us who like to read. That simple. That is why we want to tell you about it, so that you also join.
When Angela Wachuka, CEO of Kwani ?, East Africa’s largest independent publisher, launched the campaign # 100DaysofAfricanReads and it filled with color and joy a Twitter that was in need of original and dynamic initiatives that would involve a group of diverse people with the same objective, we thought, why not do it from here as well? Without any embarrassment, we copied the idea and decided to propose 100 people and groups to participate in a campaign.
Thus was born # 100readingsafrican.
For those of you who are not familiar with this social network, the above is a hashtag and it is the label that is attached to each tweet to identify it thematically and instantly recognize that it belongs to a collection of tweets that revolve around the same idea. In addition, tweets have the characteristic of not allowing more than 140 characters to be written.
The operation of # 100lecturasafricanas is simple: every day a person or group, who has previously joined the campaign, will launch a single tweet recommending a book they have chosen. So during the 100 days that the campaign will last, until you get 100 different recommendations of 100 books of all types of genres, most in Spanish, but also in other languages, by African authors from all over the continent and from the diaspora.
It will also be a way of thanking and making visible to the always few but essential editorial initiatives that have emerged in recent years and that with great effort are giving us the opportunity to read so many interesting books that are written from the African continent or from the diaspora. At bookstores Y Projects around the book that are still standing, enduring the storm and bringing us the latest news day after day and year after year. To the reading clubs focused on the African letters that they share and enrich each volume they read with their encounters. To the researchers, journalists, associations, organizations, foundations, media, blogs, fashion designers, illustrators, activists, photographers, teachers, digital magazines, who support and enlarge the African literary universe with their knowledge and passion. To all those who will appear in this initiative and to all those that for reasons of space it has been impossible to include.
Too to the translators, without whose work many of us would not be able to access these works, and to the writers, for obvious reasons.
We have left for last to the readersWithout you the chain would be hopelessly broken. Anonymous readers who silently immerse yourself for hours in your reading to have a good time or to add more worlds to the world, and future readers who can jump on this bandwagon at any time. The doors are always open. Readers we invite to participate in this campaign, spreading the 100 tweets to continue making them roll on other social networks: Facebook, Instagram … If you like them, if they contribute.
Just add that the initiative of # 100readingafrican started from “LitERaFRicA”, but it would have been impossible to carry it out without the essential collaboration of Chema Caballero and of Ángeles Jurado (of Africa is not a country), Alejandro de los Santos (of Afribuku) Y Carlos Bajo (from Wiriko). And of the 100 groups and people who have participated in it with such enthusiasm.
The next November 2 begins. Save the date.
The path, as we have said above, is done on foot. So as the friends of United Minds…