This Conference Will Gather Latina Authors to Explore Intersection of Feminism & Literary Industry

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Thirty years ago, Santiago de Chile hosted Escrituras Latinoamericanas – a conference centered around the writing experiences and struggles of Latin America’s female authors. This week, AFest – a weeklong event highlighting and celebrating “the ‘a’ in ‘escritora‘” – will pay tribute to that 1987 conference. At the same time, it will explore the intersection between feminism and the literary industry. With nearly 20 women writers participating in the forum, AFest aims to build bridges and open discourse between female authors both in Latin America and the United States. The event – organized by the Chilean Embassy, the Instituto Cervantes, and Sangría Editora – arose out of a series of emergencies.

“The first is a specific crisis, the reopening of the byways of fascism, misogyny, and unlimited capitalism,” AFest’s site reads. “The second is related to the literary market, which supposedly covers the entire spectrum of poetics produced in Latin America, but which many women writers experience as imposing a narrow order, constructed by a conglomerate or publishers, media, and universities. The third emergency arises from the current fight for women’s bodies, which in recent years – and in the wake of long literary history fascinated with dead women’s bodies – has taken the streets to demand ‘ni una menos.’ Its ideal is the creation of a common literary language that traverses borders and languages.”

Some of the same topics discussed three decades ago will likely still drive the conversation this time around. The writers who attended the first conference will join a new generation of authors, such as Sara Uribe, Gladys González, and Alejandra Castillo. (Learn more about the authors here.) AFest will take place in New York, New Brunswick, Princeton, and Washington DC. The conference will end with a dance party on Saturday. Learn more about the program here.