With the recently placed bronze bust -not yet fixed- of Gabo on the first floor, smilingly looking at the copies of his first editions, the Gabriel García Márquez Library -which will be inaugurated next Saturday 28- has hosted this noon the presentation of the new Latin American literature festival Km América, which will be held from June 16 to 19 and which will bring an outstanding group of authors.
A total of twenty-two writers from eleven countries will star in various events and round tables over four days. They are the Argentines Selva Almada, Ariana Harwicz and Martín Caparrós, the Mexicans Cristina Rivera Garza, Roberto Wong and Alain-Paul Mallard, the Ecuadorian Mónica Ojeda, the Puerto Rican Marta Aponte Alsina, the Peruvian Gustavo Faverón Patriau, the Costa Rican Carlos Fonseca, the Colombians Laura Restrepo and Vanessa Londoño, the Brazilian Itamar Vieira Junior, the Cuban Abilio Estévez, the Chilean Constanza Ternicier and the Dominican Sorayda Peguero. They will be joined by local authors, such as Llucia Ramis, Víctor Balcells or Núria Bendicho.
The director of the contest, the Mexican Eduardo Ruiz Sosa, says that the criteria have been to put the emphasis on "the peripheral, the risky and the non-regulatory", giving prominence to countries and non-central authors of the commercial canon. Thus, even in those countries with a powerful publishing industry and good diffusion of its authors, the eye is set on peripheral regions. "Areas, bodies and characters that are marginalized in history, but whose place literature precisely recognizes and tells about."
The dialogue between literature and the world of theater is one of the distinctive features of Km América, organized by Casa Amèrica Catalunya and Biblioteques de Barcelona. Each year, within the framework of the festival, a narrative work will be adapted to the stage: on this occasion, it will be The weak-minded by Ariana Harwicz and, from the next edition, a jury (Aina Tur, Jorge Volpi and Jorge Carrión) will decide between the projects sent by publishers.
"Casa Amèrica Catalunya has long wanted to celebrate a festival of Latin American literature," says Marta Nin, director of this institution. "Many Barcelonans have links with the area, and we want it to be a meeting point for Latin American and Catalan authors." A new tourist route will also be activated that will cover the relationship that García Márquez had with the city of Barcelona.
Ferran Burguillos, manager of Biblioteques de Barcelona, affirms that "one of our objectives is to give a voice to those who have not always been able to have one, and this festival is the occasion". He also announced that the neighborhood radio station that will host the venue will be called Radio Maconda.
The bust of García Márquez seemed this morning to agree with everything he was hearing, although perhaps he was a little tired. It has traveled from Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, and is a donation from its author, Óscar Noriega.