Quito, Sep 17 (EFE) .- “La gringa del boulevard 24”, the play by the Ecuadorian María Beatriz Vergara, is the genesis for creating a network of lovers of quality Ecuadorian literature, with which it is sought to avoid the difficulties involved in publishing and accessing books in the Andean nation.
Released a decade ago, “La gringa …” could have been recorded only in the memory of those who saw it, if not for a project by the playwright and actor Alfredo Espinosa who has proposed to take this and other Ecuadorian works to cyberspace, to host them in a digital library and facilitate their dissemination at low cost.
The lack of relationship between people and reading in Ecuador inevitably generates a lack of audiences for the theater, says this director of the performing arts platform “Magmateatro”, which is now launching the digital publishing house “Magmaediciones”.
“In Ecuador there are reading averages of no more than a book or two per inhabitant per year,” laments who seeks to create a digital literature bank “with a high dose of social responsibility” since it will involve the citizens of a foot, based on a principle of participatory and co-responsible civil action.
To attract accomplices, Espinosa calls by phone, sends personalized letters by WhatsApp, social networks or email in which he explains the project, an ant job that, in just three weeks, has obtained 250 accomplices and aspires to reach a base of thousand people in six months.
From the first purchase, in this case the work “La gringa …”, people agree not to pirate the texts – “one of the most serious problems of literature in Ecuador and the world” -, as well as to suggest a minimum of two contacts to expand the network.
Likewise, it undertakes to continue acquiring the following texts that, in principle, will correspond to unpublished dramaturgy, to then move on to short story and poetry anthologies, while in the medium and long term, the editorial line will focus on essays and general literature , no longer necessarily unpublished.
“When you have to pay for a book a minimum of 10 or 15 dollars (from 8.5 to 12.7 euros), in a country with a basic salary of 400 dollars (about 340 euros); when a good novel costs 30 or 35 dollars (around 25 and 29 euros), how do you read? “Asks Espinosa, who with the initiative plans to offer each text at 5 dollars (4.2 euros).
At the moment, your partners receive the book in a PDF file, but then they will be able to access the digital library with a password.
INVESTMENT THAT IS DIVERSIFIED
For each work acquired, the authors will receive 30% of the sales, “a higher percentage than any publisher would pay,” Espinosa underlines.
With the rest of the money, the “Magmateatro” platform will be fed, generating a financing system with refundable credits, without interest, for different groups related to art, one of the sectors hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic.
Thus, in the medium and long term, the literature and performing arts association seeks to expand audiences and contribute to the construction of a greater and better critical and aesthetic awareness in the country.
Large-scale, the project also seeks to generate a circuit for professionalization and one for the creation of theaters, since in Quito, for example, there are very few and all concentrated in a specific area of the city.
With five poetry books and two published novels, María Luz Albuja is happy to participate in the project because “many people tell me ‘where to find your books?’ and there is no more, I don’t even have it “, he says, pointing out that with the new format they will always be available.
Playwright, director, screenwriter, actress and historian, Vergara complains that there are still those who believe that dramaturgy should “be seen and not read” and affirms that if “selling literature is difficult, selling theater is very difficult” for which the editorial initiative that will also allow “to record history”.
“Where are the new generations going to get theatrical texts if they are not even published?”, He reflects in an interview with Efe, expressing his joy that, ten years after its premiere, 250 people have accessed his work thanks to “Magmaediciones”.
For this reason, he does not hesitate for a second to join the initiative, since he has experienced firsthand the difficulties to publish: “I have published about three or four works in theater anthology in Brazil, Italy, Peru and Chile, but in Ecuador, not Dramaturgy is the Cinderella of the story, the last in line. ”