La Furia del Libro: The Indie Book Fair

“Open communication is key to the development of a conscious society,” one customer loudly said at a booth. Indeed it is. And in concert with an ever-growing artistic movement in Santiago, the “1st Furia del Libro muestra y venta de libros de editoriales independientes” (Book Fair for Independent and Emerging Publishers) led the advance June 19-21 with a well-organized and humble stage for open conversation.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Caitlin Murray

The three-day fair was hosted by the Centro Cultural Villavicencio in the picturesque streets of Barrio Lastarria, and featured a variety of self-published literature. Political pamphlets, Manga fanzines, Hare Krishna literature and a random assortment of essay collections and original fiction were on display to facilitate an increased awareness of political and social concerns.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Caitlin Murray

Two exhibition rooms provided visitors and supporters with literature in a vast array of genres offering a balance between handmade paper pamphlets and books. Though impressively bound the prices remained low averaging CP$3,000 for a book.

A slew of sponsors such as publisher “Catapulta Libros” and poetry magazine “LP5” brought together about 19 different publishers at “La Furia del Libro” to join a growing movement towards alternative methods of producing, acquiring and enjoying literature.

The event was also an interesting opportunity for authors to meet the audience. Sitting behind the booths, each artist conversed and pitched their work to eager visitors. Professor Álamos was one amongst the mostly bohemian congregation. As a philosophy professor he has first hand experience on the difficulties of obtaining literature in the country.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Caitlin Murray

Driven away from traditional bookstores by high prices, a curtailed selection of students throughout the city have to “find Xeroxed copies and bind them to use as textbooks and reference materials in class.” His students of Kant and Schopenhauer have to jump through hoops and navigate through alleyways to obtain information.

Even though the military dictatorship was 20 years ago, its laws concerning the press continue to linger. In fact, until recently Chile still considered it illegal for anyone to publish anything openly defaming the government. Today, though Congress is actively working for an about face, limitations on distribution of information continues to inspire the organizers and promoters of the Furia.

More than just a book sale, “La Furia del Libro” was a successful and inspiring event bringing the passion of activism and academic enlightenment together.

1st Furia del Libro
Centro Cultural Villavicencio
Barrio Lastarria
June 19-21

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