By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Arte da Palavra (Art of the Word) project launched this month in twelve states by the Social Service of Commerce (SESC), and through to December will distribute the literature in the country, promoting democratization and facilitating the population’s access to the literary work.
The program will cover the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Pará, Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Tocantins, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul.
Spokesperson for SESC’s Literature effort, Henrique Rodrigues, said in an interview with a government news agency that the organization is already promoting many activities to increase reading using its library network, but has now decided to create this unprecedented literary promotion project, “fazendo o Brasil se conhecer” (“Brazil knows itself”).
Rodrigues described that this will be the first time a program will employ a program of circuits. “This is the first time that we are creating a national literature promotion circuit.”
The first circuit of the Arte da Palavra involves public discussions with writers that will travel to other states to discuss their books and the writing process. For example, authors from Espírito Santo and Pernambuco come together and will circulate in Tocantins and Mato Grosso, he said.
“There’s always this mix. Another key issue is that their books will be read in advance in each locality, in reading clubs and SESC schools, in systematic activities to stimulate reading.”
Among the invited authors are Bráulio Tavares, winner of the Jabuti Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009; Cintia Moscovich, winner of the Contos Guimarães Rosa contest; And Rafael Gallo, winner of the São Paulo 2016 Award.
The project also includes the literary creation circuit, which treats the theme in its various manifestations in literature workshops. In all, the project will span 48 cities, bringing together 91 artists and writers. Henrique Rodrigues explained that the goal for 2018 is to increase the number of cities and states visited.
“The trend is, in a short time, that we have [the project] being carried out in all states where SESC is. We consider this year a big and complex test, with a lot of people going to different cities. ”
The programming is open to the general public. What was established as methodology is that in meetings with authors and in the circuit of speaking, there is also a session focused on institutions of education of the public network.
This means that in the afternoon there are sessions aimed at the school audience and, in the evenings, sessions open to the general public. Admission is free, “just come,” said Rodrigues.
Only for literary creation workshops, which have work hours, it is necessary to pre-register, with symbolic fee in the average amount of R$20, “to value the workshop,” he said.
This is welcome news in the midst of a financial crisis that saw the four Biblioteca Parque (Park Libraries) of Rio de Janeiro closed on December 30th for the end of year recess, with only one planned to reopen in January.
The four libraries had operated with funds from the municipal governments of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói, totaling R$1.750 million per month.