Advocacy actions

International independent publishers facing the pandemic (May 2020)

To be an independent publisher is to question the world, to help make sense of it, today and tomorrow

At a time when every country in the world is affected by the pandemic, we, as independent publishers around the world, are experiencing diverse health, social and economic situations. We are facing different realities, in different timeframes : immediate risks for some sections of the population (India, Madagascar, Indonesia...) ; a pandemic that strikes in contexts of already established political crisis (Haiti, Egypt, Syria...) ; the near absence or delayed implementation of public book policies (Cameroon, Gabon...) ; the resilience of independent publishing houses in the face of big corporations (Australia...).... While our contexts are diverse, our concerns remain collective : fragility of independent structures, uncertainty about the future, concern about possible abuses (surveillance society, pressure on employees, online teaching and learning, etc.).

We are in perpetual questioning, trying to understand our world : what to do, how, with whom, at what pace ?
We need time to understand, to comprehend – which we had planned to do by 2021, as well as our “Rethink and Celebrate” Conference. REthink : to remain a conscious and creative actor, to act, in terms of ecology, social and solidarity economy, new approaches to readers, cooperative practices between professionals, freedom of publishing, fair speech...

Read more below...

See also :
Public book policies website

Digital Lab

Read the text in Arabic :

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Luis Sepúlveda, a generous, compassionate writer committed to building a more just and humane world, 16 April 2020

The International Alliance of Independent Publishers and publishers from the Spanish-language network pay tribute to the memory of the Chilean writer Luis Sepúlveda, who died on 16 April 2020 in Oviedo (Spain) as a result of the Coronavirus, after several weeks in hospital.

The Ibero-American Book Fair in Gijón, organised and directed by Luis Sepúlveda for more than a decade, was the setting for the creation of the first network of Spanish-language independent publishers, and the first meeting of Latin American independent publishers was held in 2000.

As a result, the International Alliance of Independent Publishers and the Association of Independent Publishers of Chile, now Editores de Chile, were formed.

Today we pay tribute to a man of generosity, solidarity and commitment to building a more just and humane world.

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Declaration of Santiago de Chile on independent publishing serving communities and diversity, 3 October 2019

  • Driven by the growth of independent publishing in Latin American countries.
  • Revived by the increase in the number of fairs and meetings where creative and local editorial production are showcased.
  • Encouraged by the ways in which some public reading and book policies are supporting local intellectual production and bibliodiversity.

Convened in Santiago de Chile on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of October 2019, during the Spring of the Book (Primavera del Libro) and the International Conference of Independent Publishers (2019-2021), the Spanish-language network of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers (IAIP) declares :

  • Its privileged link with reading, a liberating practice that raises consciousness, stimulates critical thinking, nourishes the mind ; and with the book, a fundamental support of creation, knowledge and thought, pillar of culture and cultural diversity.
  • Its concern about the increasing merger of the book chain, which translates into the marginalisation of local production in bookstores, particularly that of independent publishers ; dominates the media, obscuring blocking creation and critical editorial production ; and excludes small and medium-sized publishers from public procurements of books.
  • Its willingness to promote practices, in the world of publishing, that enable a rich and diverse book ecosystem, that stimulates local intellectual production, translation, and balanced exchanges of books amongst Spanish-speaking countries ; strengthens independent bookstores and their presence in cities and communities ; grows public, academic and school libraries with diverse and inclusive book collections ; reflects bibliodiversity, the cultural diversity in the world of books.
  • Its support for public reading and book policies as key drivers of the democratisation of the book in our societies ; as systemic strategies strengthening the potential impact of any decision or action ; and as mechanisms preventing market concentration, for the benefit of national book industries and local production.

And commits towards :

  • Strengthening the collective action of independent publishers in favour of bibliodiversity and the participatory development of sound public reading and book policies.
  • Amplifying the voice of independent publishing and increasing exchanges with readers, actors of the world of books and culture and public institutions, through studies, manifestos, documents, regional, national, and international meetings, and through a clear commitment towards the communities concerned.
  • Promoting the sharing and diversity of reading, education and training in our communities, from a critical perspective, mindful of being part of a world rich in bibliodiversity, which we must protect today more than ever.
  • Constantly interrogating our own production processes and dynamics inherent in the publishing world, in order to improve its impacts on our social and natural environment.
  • Identifying and analysing the strategies and good practices in our respective countries, to better implement them where they are lacking.

The aim is to strengthen book ecosystems locally by involving all relevant actors, and to promote a book culture in our societies, a necessary condition to escape manipulation and to build democratic societies for critical and committed citizens.

We call on all independent publishers who share these statements to sign this declaration :

  • Silvia Aguilera, Lom ediciones, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • German Baquiola, Editorial La Caída and collective of independent publishers of Equator, Equator.
  • Nicolas Biebel, Econautas Editorial, Argentina.
  • Constanza Brunet, Marea editorial, Argentina.
  • Mikel Buldain, Txalaparta, Basque Country.
  • Mariela Calcagno, Hacerse de Palabras, Mexico.
  • Fabiola Calvo Ocampo, Acracia Proyecto de Investigación Editorial, Colombia.
  • Patricia Cocq Muñoz, Cocorocoq Editoras, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Daniela Cortés del Castillo, Loba Ediciones, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Mónica Cumar, Ediciones Columba, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Héctor Dinsmann, Libros de la Araucaria, Argentina.
  • Rodrigo Fuentes-Díaz, Edición Digital s.a., Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • José Gabriel Feres, Virtual Ediciones, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Gustavo Mauricio García, Ícono editorial and president of the Colombian Network of Independent Publishers.
  • Catalina González, Luna libros and the collective La Diligencia, Colombia.
  • Teresa Gottlieb, Editorial Maitri, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Victor Hugo de la Fuente, Editorial Aún Creemos en los Sueños, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Guido Indij, la marca editora, Argentina.
  • Eduardo Lira, Escrito con Tiza, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • María Eugenia Lorenzini, Editorial Forja, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Marcelo Mendoza, Mandrágora, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Lucía Moscoso Rivera, Mecánica Giratoria, Ecuador.
  • Pablo Moya, Ediciones el Milagro and Mexican Alliance of Independent Publishers Alliance, Mexico.
  • Francisca Muñoz, general manager at Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Daniela Navarro, Ediciones Ekaré Sur, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Mabel Andrea Rivera Pavez, Ediciones Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Eduardo Ruiz-Tagle Eyzaguirre, Editorial Rapanui Press, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Luis Daniel Rocca, Taller de edición Rocca and Colombian Network of Independent Publishers.
  • Juan Carlos Sáez, JC Sáez editor, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Leonel Sagahón and Jerónimo Repoll, Editorial Tintable, Mexico.
  • Alfonso Serrano, La Oveja Roja, Spain.
  • Javier Sepúlveda, e-books Patagonia and president of Association Editores de Chile.
  • Paulo Slachevsky, Lom ediciones, Editores de Chile, Coordinator RedH AIEI, Chile.
  • Mónica Tejos, Simplemente editores, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • María José Thomas, Ocho Libros editores, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Max Valdés Avilés, Vicio Impune Editorial, Editores de Chile, Chile.
  • Carlos Vela, Editorial Pesopluma and collective of independent publishers of Peru, Peru.
  • Marisol Vera, Editorial Cuarto Proprio, Editores de Chile, Chile.

To sign the “Declaration of Santiago de Chile on independent publishing serving communities and diversity”, please contact the Alliance’ team.

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Solidarity with Shahidul Alam (Bangladesh), August 8, 2018

STATEMENT
August 8, 2018

The International Alliance of Independent Publishers (IAIP), a network of 553 publishers worldwide, expresses its shock and dismay at the late-night abduction and detention of acclaimed photographer and human rights activist, Shahidul Alam, in Dhaka. Shahidul Alam has been a partner-colleague of the IAIP, in which context we have interacted with him on many occasions.

We believe that the charges against him under Section 57 of the ICT are an attempt to intimidate him by using a draconian law to stifle his right to free speech. He has been held without due legal process, and we have received disturbing reports of brutal treatment meted out to him in detention.

The right of peaceful protest, and the defence of that right, are fundamental to democracy and to upholding the rule of law. The IAIP extends its support to, and expresses solidarity with, Shahidul Alam, and reiterates its commitment to the freedom of expression in Bangladesh as well as in the rest of the world.

See here the film make by New Internationalist (UK) in support with Shahidul Alam.

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Censorship against independent publishing house Txalaparta (Basque Country), 1 March 2018

Publishers from the Alliance condemn the banning of the book El desarme, la vía vasca d’Iñaki Egaña (copublished by Txalaparta, Gara journal, and Mediabask media), during its promotion on Basque radio-television.

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Frankfurt in French : Call for more coherence towards a strengthened bibliodiversity

As the Frankfurt Book Fair (11-15 October 2017) opens in a few weeks’ time, with a special focus on France and French languages, the International Alliance of independent publishers takes the opportunity to revisit some key issues for independent publishers and bibliodiversity, as expressed by 400 publishers from 50 countries, in the International Declaration of independent publishers of 2014.

France wished, in the context of Frankfurt’s invitation, to provide a space for publishers from the South and we are grateful for this opportunity. We hope this openness will contribute towards meaningful networking, discussion, and exchanges among Francophone publishers. These mutual trust and interest, at the heart of the Alliance, have indeed proven themselves over the past 15 years, leading to unprecedented co-publishing and translation projects between continents.

However, other aspects of “Frankfurt in French” are counterintuitive to this dynamic. Book donation initiatives from France to Africa are indeed planned in Frankfurt this year. More specifically, the 30 000 books to be displayed in the French Pavilion will be distributed to foreign countries after Frankfurt – and this while some twenty African publishers are invited to participate in the Fair, in an “African/Haiti” stand. As mentioned in several reports and in the Frankfurt programme (see here), book donations, while underpinned by good intentions, can disrupt the local book economy.

We therefore call on the accountability of each involved — public authorities, associations, and professionals, for these donations to be made in close collaboration with participating African publishers, but also in consultation with local African booksellers. These are the basic conditions for balanced and respectful exchanges in the actors’ respective environments.

It is critical to rethink book donation. Encouraging and supporting sustainable and fair editorial partnerships must be a priority.

We hope that the readiness to showcase Francophonie’s diversity and plurality in Frankfurt will be paralleled with constructive actions by public authorities, both in the North and South. It is indeed essential for political will to accompany a change of perspective and relations among Francophone countries.

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Solidarity with the Mexicans, 22 September 2017

On 21 September, all around the world, we have celebrated the International Day of Bibliodiversity. Meantime, in Mexico, the terrible earthquake occurred 2 days before, on 19 September, turning streets into dust, causing victims, hundreds and hundreds of roofless people…

The International Alliance of independent publishers expresses –in these days of celebration of cultural diversity, ideas and texts flows– its solidarity with the Mexicans.

The Association of Mexican independent publishers (AEMI), member of the Alliance, proposes to collect Latin-American books to offer especially to children and young Mexicans –so that their imaginations do not focus on this disaster, and that stories and words coming from abroad can help them in these painful moments.

This is also bibliodiversity : be careful about the surrounding world, keep awake and conscious, in solidarity.

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Call for freedom of speech and publishing in Turkey, 22 August 2016

The International Alliance of independent publishers demands that Turkish authorities immediately release publishers, authors and journalists currently detained. It is necessary to guarantee freedom of speech and publishing in Turkey. The Alliance joins the Turkish Publishers Association’s condemnation of the summary closure of publishing houses and media as a clear human rights violation, and urges the Turkish authorities to rescind those summary closures.

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Call for freedom of speech and publishing in Bangladesh, November 2015

Extract from the Communiqué by the Alliance for a call for freedom of speech and publishing in Bangladesh, 10 November 2015 :

For several months, authors, bloggers, publishers and booksellers have been the victims of violent and deadly attacks in Bangladesh.

The International Alliance of independent publishers, representing 400 independent publishers from 45 countries in the world, condemns these murderous attacks and assault on freedom of speech and publishing. The Alliance also reaffirms the essential role needing to be played by public authorities, in Bangladesh and throughout the world to enable the emancipation of its citizens, and to guarantee a public space conducive to dialogue and peace. Plurality and diversity of ideas constitute the foundation of democracy. It is urgent that the Bangladeshi government protects and supports actors in the book industry, thus safeguarding the foundations necessary for their work and freedom of speech.

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Communiqué from the Alliance on the Tunis meetings, 27 May 2011

Pays de parution : Tunisie

15 publishers from 8 countries (Algeria, Argentina, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, France, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria) met in Tunis, from 12 to 15 May 2011, to discuss e-publishing. The meeting was organised by the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, with the support of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

The publishers who met in Tunis wished it to be known that these meetings took place in a peaceful and secure environment. The warm welcome we were given, despite the curfew then in place, enabled us to organise meetings of a high standard, from both a professional and a human perspective.

We wished to show our solidarity with our Tunisian partners in this way, by inviting associations, NGOs, organisations and institutions, tourists and the simply curious to rediscover Tunisia – a Tunisia where freedom is in the air.

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