The International Assembly : why and how ?

Why an international Assembly ?

"In this age of deep transformation, we wish to convene a meeting to reflect on our practices, listen to new ideas and include new generations of publishers who share our concerns. Considering two new factors – emergence of new digital actors and global financial crisis – we wish to question our role and reaffirm the issue of bibliodiversity.

In this spirit, we have decided to hold the International Assembly of Independent Publishers, which will be a series of preparatory and thematic workshops in 2013, closing with an Assembly of allies (general meeting) in 2014. The whole process will lead to :
* propositions and recommendations towards bibliodiversity aimed at public authorities ;
* cooperative and innovative publishing between independent publishers, based on equity principles ;
* new forms of partnerships with other professionals from the book industry meeting in the context of bibliodiversity.

Gathering more than 100 independent publishers from the five continents, the International Assembly of independent publishers is a unique event, professional and intercultural. Professionals, public authorities, institutions and civil society representatives are invited to join us to strengthen and keep bibliodiversity alive".

Paris, on 26 October 2012

by the International Committee of Independent Publishers :
Nouri Abid (Med Ali publishers, Tunisia),
Serge Dontchueng Kouam (Presses universitaires d’Afrique, Cameroon), Susan Hawthorne (Spinifex Press, Australia),
Hamid Medhipour (Forough Verlag, Germany),
Araken Ribeiro Gomes (Contra Capa, Brazil),
Juan Carlos Sáez (JC Sáez Editor, Chile)

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International Assembly, a guide

Throughout 2013, independent publishers will meet in Latin America, Africa and Europe, in the context of preparatory and thematic workshops. The 2014 Assembly of Allies in Cape Town (South Africa) will close this process. These workshops have a trifold objective : develop and mutualise cooperative and innovative work practices between independent publishers ; sustainably strengthen professional capacities and human relations amongst the book industry’s actors ; formulate concrete propositions towards bibliodiversity.

The workshops will be held over three to five days, and are structured on a common template :
* Practical training (with the intervention of professionals and/ or specialists, depending on the themes) and knowledge and experience sharing based on concrete projects and little known initiatives ;
* Formulation of propositions and recommendations towards bibliodiversity.

For workshops to meet expectations, publishers will design their own daily programme, based on the local context in which they operate and on their concerns. As beneficiaries and actors, the transmission of practical knowledge and practices is at the heart of these days.

To enrich these workshops and promote cooperation, some professionals from the book industry, associative structures, and private and public institutions are invited to share original projects and unique experiences that could be repeated in the publishing sector.

The conclusions of each workshop are centralised by the International Committee of Independent Publishers – and redistributed to participants – to collectively build the 2014 Assembly of Allies’ agenda.

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Workshops to promote bibliodiversity

Bibliodiversity in action in Guadalajara
In the context of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (Mexico)
24 to 28 November 2012

Book donation : A system to review
In the margins on the Paris Book Fair (France)
20 and 21 March 2013

African Youth Literature : What visibility on the international market ?
In the margins of the Bologna Book Fair (Italy)
23 and 24 March 2013

Local and national languages : What opportunities for publishing in Africa ?
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
11 to 13 June 2013

Fair Trade book : A real issue for tomorrow / Co-publishing, rights transfers and other solidarity publishing partnerships
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
14 to 17 June 2013

Diffusion of human and social sciences works : What innovative strategies to get what you want ?
In the margins of the Frankfurt Book Fair (Germany)
13 to 15 October 2013

Digital publishing : What issues for bibliodiversity in the Arab-speaking world ?
In the margins of the Abu Dhabi International Book fair
30 April to 3 May 2014

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Second step - the 2014 Assembly of allies in Cape Town : 62 independent publishers united for bibliodiversity

After the 2013 preparatory workshops, an Assembly of Allies will be held from 18 to 22 September 2014, in Cape Town, under the patronage of UNESCO.

In order to achieve this, and in line with practical case studies and sharing of practical knowledge during the workshops, it is essential for publishers to discuss the evolution of bibliodiversity in their countries and publishing houses since 2007 : How does bibliodiversity materialise itself on a daily basis for a Malian publisher, an Indian publisher, an Argentinian publisher ? How does independent publishing empowers itself in the various countries ? How does the publishing field in Madagascar, Peru or Afghanistan professionalise itself ?

The Assembly of Allies, a unique intercultural and multilingual space in the field of publishing, is in itself a reflection of international independent publishing. For four days, publishers will discuss their background, for some their struggle, share their experiences and the risks they face. Communication digital tools offer the possibility for publishers to be in regular and quasi instant contact – but they cannot replace human exchanges, essential to trust and solidary relations characteristic of a network such as the Alliance’s.

The Assembly of Allies is moreover a decisive moment for the Alliance’s governance : directions for the coming years, and the ensuing programme of activities, will be decided upon there, collectively.

In the spirit of long term capacity building of its members, the Alliance therefore continues to work towards an international solidarity professional network – to promote the circulation and access to works and ideas.

As a unique meeting, the Assembly of Allies primarily serves publishers’ desire to federate around common wishes : to promote and strengthen bibliodiversity together.

We thank our valued partners : Jacana Media (South Africa), Modjaji Books (South Africa), Open Book Festival (South Africa), French Institute in South Africa, Alliance française du Cap (South Africa), National Library of South Africa, Goethe Institut (South Africa), Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer (Switzerland), Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, région Ile-de-France (France), Centre national du livre (France), Fondation de France (France), Direction du développement et de la Coopération (Switzerland), French Institute in Lebanon, French Institute in Tunisia, Cooperación Regional Francesa para los Países Andinos (Bolivia), Canarias Cultura “Canarias crea” (Spain), Copyright Agency Cultural Fund (Australia), Centro Estero per l’Internazionalizzazione (Italy), Centre Universitaire de Recherches sur l’Action Publique et le Politique (CURAPP) / Université de Picardie Jules Verne (France)… and the publishers themselves !


Contact : assises@alliance-editeurs.org

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