Detailed programme

The Conference will be held at the Baluarte (Navarre Congress Centre and Auditorium). The sessions can also be followed online, live (Follow the Conference online).

The times indicated in the programme are Spanish times (UTC+1).

Participants will be welcomed at the Baluarte at 8:30 am every morning

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

9 - 11:30 am

Bibliodiversity: Independence and interdependence

Challenges for a diversified and committed book ecosystem in the face of current issues (economic, social, cultural, institutional, ecological...)

  • John B. Thompson, sociologist, United Kingdom
  • Julien Lefort-Favreau, professor of Contemporary Literature and Critical Theory, Québec/ Can-ada
  • Kenza Sefrioui, publisher (En toutes lettres), Morocco
  • Esther Merino, publisher (éditions les Monédières and chair of the Association des Éditeurs de Nouvelle-Aquitaine), France
  • Alfonso Serrano, publisher (La Oveja Roja), Madrid (moderator)

For several years now, the notions of independence and bibliodiversity permeate almost all discourses on the publishing sector. However, there is a strong network of interdependencies at different levels of society, which are not always easy to identify. Yet, their identification is necessary for the theoretical framework constructed from these notions to go beyond mere sloganeering and lead to a meaningful reflection on the place of the publishing activity of independent publishers within society.

12 - 2 pm 

Bibliodiversity: Independence and interdependence

Ecology of the book

  • Anaïs Massola, bookseller (Le Rideau rouge and co-founder of the Association pour l’écologie du livre), France
  • José Bellver, economist and researcher, Madrid
  • Susan Hawthorne, Publisher (Spinifex Press), Australia
  • Corinne Fleury, publisher (Atelier des nomades), Mauritius/France (moderator)

A quick look at the national budgets of most states shows that publishing is classified as an industrial activity. This is logical for a business that uses a significant amount of labour and raw materials, which once transformed into marketable products, are transported, and traded around the world. At a time of inevitable reflection on the ecological sustainability of human activity on the planet, nothing should prevent us from calmly analysing the responsibilities arising from the choices made by independent publishers. And in a context of increasing digital visibility, it is also appropriate to question what lies behind the apparent intangibility of this ‘cloud’.

  • Experiences and preliminary studies: state of play
  • The sector as a system, thinking about the book sector to preserve its richness
  • Assessment of the lifecycle: the challenge of integrating all activities in the ecosystem to try to define their ecological impacts
  • Digital publishing: against the illusion of zero ecological impact

4 - 6 pm

Group workshop: ecological practices in the book sector

Animated by Corinne Fleury, publisher (Atelier des nomades, Mauritius/France) and Anaïs Massola, bookseller (Le Rideau rouge and co-founder of the Association pour l’écologie du livre, France).


Face-to-face meetings between professionals

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

9 - 11 am

Relations of power and domination in the world of books: cultural colonialism, representation of minorities and of women in the book industry...

What to say and where to say it?

  • Gisèle Sapiro, sociologist, France
  • Ronny Agustinus, publisher (Marjin Kiri), Indonesia
  • Ibrahima Aya, publisher (Éditions Tombouctou), Mali
  • Paulo Slachevsky, publisher (Lom Ediciones), Chile (moderator)

The logics of concentration in the publishing world and the domination of the commercial aspect of the book to the detriment of its cultural aspect are mixed with other conservative impulses that have an impact on the sector, such as cultural colonialism, patriarchy, the marginalisation of minorities and peripheral languages... Reflecting on these relations of power and domination, reinforcing the liberating and transforming character of books and words is the invitation of this second morning of the International Conference of Independent Publishers.

  • Minority representation/ inclusive publishing (who can publish, write, have their voice heard?)
  • Imbalance between Southern and Northern markets (cultural colonialism)
  • Publishing in minority languages
  • Indigenous literature

11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Relations of power and domination in the world of books: cultural colonialism, representation of minorities and of women in the book industry...

Women in the publishing world 

  • Samar Haddad, publisher (Atlas Publishing), Syria
  • Barbora Baronová, publisher (wo-men), Czech Republic
  • Julia Ortiz, publisher (Criatura Editora), Uruguay
  • Djaïli Amadou Amal, author, Cameroon
  • Ana Gallego Cuiñas, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Granada (moderator)

While the publishing profession seems to be predominantly occupied by women in many countries –and although the situation is not identical in all cultural contexts and book markets– women remain under-represented in positions of responsibility within publishing houses, just as women authors are less recognised than men by literary prizes. Is this situation –this imbalance– which has been pointed out in Europe in particular, generalizable at the international level? What does being a woman in the publishing world mean in concrete terms? International independent publishing offers a diverse and varied panorama of the place and role accorded to women professionals in the sector. Whether they practice their profession in Syria, the Czech Republic, Cameroon or Canada, whether they are authors, publishers or feminist publishers, this round table will amplify the voices of women book professionals who contribute to shaping the international publishing landscape.

4 - 6 pm

Group workshop: social and solidarity economy practices in the book sector

Animated by David Murray, publisher (Écosociété, Quebec/Canada), Alfonso Serrano, publisher (La Oveja Roja, Madrid) y Mikel Buldain, publisher (Txalaparta, Navarre)

6 - 8 pm

Face-to-face meetings between professionals

Face-to-face sectoral meetings

Thursday, 25 November 2021

9 - 11:30 am

Freedom of publishing / fair speech

  • Azadeh Parsapour, publisher (Nogaam), Iran/ UK
  • Mohamed El Baaly, publisher (Sefsafa Publishing), Egypt
  • Tomaz Adour, publisher (Vermelho Marinho and LIBRE), Brazil
  • Müge Gursoy Sokmen, publisher (Metis Publishers), Turkey
  • Antoinette Koleva, publisher (KX Critique and Humanism), Bulgaria (moderator)

In November 2021, the members of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers will publish an unprecedented collective study on the freedom of publishing. Their testimonies offer a unique and pluralistic overview of the freedom of publishing around the world. From state censorship in its “classic” sense to more insidious censorship (e.g. administrative), from mass/ societal censorship (conservative, nationalist or religious groups) that sometimes leads to self-censorship; from market censorship to the absence or shortcomings of public book policies, the multiple obstacles faced by book professionals threaten freedom of expression. Although it is part of the freedom of expression, the freedom of publishing, the freedom to choose an author, to take responsibility for his or her writings, to distribute them and to market them, is often prevented and limited, giving rise to circumvention practices that often forge the secret history of the texts we read. This round table will attempt to restore the plurality of voices and trajectories that shape the study, while giving voice to the movements of resistance and solidarity at work.

  • Launch of a ground-breaking study on the freedom of publishing by members of the Alliance network. Freedom of publishing: what does it mean in 2021?
  • Words and testimonies from publishers. Free speech vs. fair speech in different regions of the world

12 - 2 pm

Writing and publishing in ‘minority’ languages

  • Marie Michèle Razafintsalama, publisher (Jeunes malgaches), Madagascar
  • Dante Gonzales, publisher (Pakarina Ediciones), Peru
  • Maria José Galvez, Director General of Books and Reading Promotion, Ministry of Culture
  • Garazi Arrula, Basque language publisher (Txalaparta), Navarre (moderator)

It is said that the European Union alone has around 60 minority languages. In total, about 10% of the European population is fluent in these languages and, due to migration, this figure is increasing. Sometimes speakers (and readers) of a minority language outnumber speakers of one of the official languages, as is the case with Catalan, for example. The situation of these languages, as well as those without a written tradition, is very varied. Publishing in one of the minority languages involves often very complex challenges, which professionals in the sector will address in this round table.

4 - 6 pm

Group workshop: impact of digital advancements on the book sector

Animated by Octavio Kulesz, publisher (Editorial Teseo, Argentina) and Gilles Colleu (Vents d’ailleurs, France)

6 - 7:30 pm

Face-to-face meetings between professionals

Friday, 26 November 2021

9 am - 12 pm

Collectively defining the future period of independent publishing within the Alliance 

Internal working meetings

Action plan, guidelines, and governance for the period 2022-2025

All the Alliance's language networks will meet at least once between 2020 and 2021, virtually. The aim of these meetings per language network is to prepare the 2021-2022 Conference (identify priority themes, topics and projects for the Conference), to determine the networks' roadmap for the period 2021-2022 and to work on the governance of the association.

At the end of the Conference, the two main objectives are as follows

  • Define the Alliance's objectives and action plan for 2022-2025 - based on the priority issues of the Conference
  • Clarify and validate the governance of the association for the period 2022-2025

12:30 - 2 pm

REthinking... the book of the future!

- Speeches by Bibliodiversity Ambassadors (Vandana Shiva, author and activist, India and Djaïli Amadou Amal, author, Cameroon)
- Conference Declaration