By Dennis Abrams
After a series of workshops held around the world throughout 2012-2013 (Mexico, France, Italy, Burkina Faso, Germany and Abu Dhabi), the International Alliance of Independent Publishers will be holding their International Assembly in Cape Town this year from September 17-21.
The meeting, which has been dubbed the Assembly of Allies, has been labeled “a unique intercultural and multilingual space in the field of publishing, [and] is itself a reflection of international independent publishing.” During the four days, publishers will discuss their backgrounds (and in some cases their struggles) while sharing experiences and risks. (It is noted that while communication digital tools offer the possibility for publishers to be in regular and “quasi-regular” contact, they still can’t replace face to face human exchanges, which are essential to build trust and solid relations in a network such as the Alliance’s)
What’s going to be discussed?
“…it is essential for publishers to discuss the evolution of bibliodiversity in their countries and publishing houses since 2007: How does bibliodiversity materialize itself on a daily basis for a Malian publisher, an Indian publisher, an Argentinean publisher? How does independent publishing empower itself in the various countries? How does the publishing in Madagascar, Peru or Afghanistan build a solid professional foundation?”
Founded in 2002, the International Alliance of Independent Publishers – 82 publishers and 9 collectives – representing over 360 publishers from 45 countries in Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa and Europe — was created to “make our voices heard, to take untraveled roads, to build a new solidarity movement and to oppose all forms of oppression (economic, political, religious, and ideological).”
For more than 10 years, the alliance has been building biodiversity through:
- Solidarity co-publishing, copyright transfers, and translations (in English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French, Persian and Portuguese);
- Advocacy against predation, censorship, and the lack of public policies supporting the book industry;
- Research and training with both physical and online resource centers, and in situ training designed by the beneficiary and adapted to individual professional practices;
- Human and intercultural meetings, essential to the development of collective projects based on trust and mutual understanding.
To learn more about the International Alliance of Independent Publishers and this September’s International Assembly in Cape Town, click here.