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London opens the door to literature in Spanish language

El 25 de julio de 2019 en Books, Literature por | Sin comentarios

Instituto Cervantes in London welcomes the presentation of a book celebrating twelve Spanish and Latin American authors living in the British capital.

Twelve Spanish-language authors from Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and Ecuador will speak today at 7pm at the London headquarters of Instituto Cervantes. All the writers now live and work in London, and their new book, Visitors II was written after attending the creative writing workshop, El Ojo de la Cultura Hispanoamericana (The Eye of Hispanic American Culture).

«London is a literary and creativity capital in Spanish because of the number of Spanish speakers who create in it,» says Ignacio Peyró, director of the Cervantes Institute in London, who highlights the Latin American vocation of the centre.

The twelve Spanish and Latin American authors are: José Luis Gutiérrez Trueba, Denisse Vargas Bolaños, Lester Gómez Medina, Santiago Peluffo Soneyra, Marijo Alba, Natalia Casali, Jael de la Luz, Ana Vidal, Diana Huarte, Claudia Lozano, Stephanie Russo and Martín Belzunce, coordinated by the Argentine writer Enrique D. Zattara.

All of them will talk about their work and their experience after attending the writing workshop that Zattara started in September 2015 and through which thirty writers have attended both face to face or online.

The Eye of Hispanic American Culture, ZTR Radio and Instituto Cervantes in London have been collaborating together since October 2017 in the “Authors in search of reader” cycle, aimed at spreading the work of Spanish-American writers still little known in this country among the British readers.

Writing workshops to improve stories

Zattara highlights the role of writing workshops to help writers, through the development of techniques and resources to improve the story and going through what will work or not. In addition, he explains how they disassemble the stories and resources used by writers such as the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges.

“Ricardo Piglia said that the first writings were particularly interesting because they were portrayed in the search for a style and the commitment to a way in which to think about literature”, says writer Carlos Fonseca, author of the prologue in this book. «The beauty of a book like this falls, then, on that style and form are thought collectively.»

In the case of the writer Lester Gómez Medina, a Costa Rican of Nicaraguan origin, four of his short stories are included. In them, he gathers his childhood experiences and how they impact on adult life. Gómez Medina highlights the role of the workshops as a speaker of the Spanish language in London, as well as to consolidate the writing and create a link with other writers to whom he already calls friends.

On the other hand, Diana Huarte, Argentine singer of electronic music of the group called Shh, arrived at the writing workshop two years ago after a health problem and eager to develop her creativity. In addition, the Cantabrian José Luis Gutiérrez Trueba joins the project with his stories, inspired by ideas that he takes from the street, news he is reading throughout the day, reflections of the current era and the impact of social networks and Brexit.

A project to spread to Spanish-speaking creators

The Eye of Hispanic American Culture in London is a multimedia cultural project that aims to communicate and disseminate with Spanish-speaking artistic creators worldwide. They develop their motives through various formats, such as radio culture, through ZTR radio podcasts in which they carry out exclusively cultural programming in Spanish and English, which is also broadcast live in collaboration with ExraRadio1 of London.

In addition, they make cycles, readings and conferences for the dissemination and knowledge of Hispanic-American artists, in Spanish and English. These projects are both lone-ventures as well as in collaboration with institutions such as the Cervantes Institute, various Latin American Embassies, and some universities. They also organise public shows where they stage encounters of artistic disciplines such as poetry, music and dance, theater, cinema for the audience.

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