Welcome on MEDiakitab blog. This program aims at sharing information and ressources dedicated to reading and writing practices, from story telling to digital form, in the Euro-Mediterranean space.

MEDiakitab association, located in Marseille, is in charge of administrating the blog. Contents are a reflection of the activities, analysis and knowledge developped by the network members.


The library, “a place of power”

The experience of parc library in Brasil

During the workshop that took place in Marseille, in april 2015, and was dealing with culture in popular areas Véra Saboya introduced her 5 years experience of  providing 4 libraries in the city of Rio de Janeiro by the State of Rio. The programme is supplemented by the opening of 14 other libraries in other regions.

Culture, a social developement lever

On the idea that « the most disadvantaged pBib parc 1opulations deserve the best », parc libraries were born in Medellin, in Colombia to promote social developement. The cultural centres are fostering citizen groups, recreational and educational creative activities, and access to digital technology. Users can find books but not only.They can also find empty spaces, exhibition areas, cultural creation places, local community life area.

Rio de Janeiro, an other Latin American City with shantytowns, chose to develop a similar program : building the most ambitious, modern and beautiful equipments in favelas or poor areas. There were no cultural structure there, the public space was occupied only by drug trade.  The first project of parc library was born in Brasil in april 2010. The State Secretariat for Culture inaugurated the Parc library of the favelas of Manguinhos and da Rocinha.

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The very beautiful buildings, offering modern and comfortable equipments, include a performance hall, a cafeteria, reception area and working spaces. Open 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, employ they 120 people and host an average of 2 500 people each day. They use celebrities in different fields, and offer brainstorming laboratories, litterature and art activities (writing, design, theatre, photo). Specific marketing plans were imagined to reach actors involved in drug-trafficking. The objective is to give a new value to their life.


Serving the project with courageous mindsets

Based upon the Colombian experience and Darcy Ribeiro’s thought, Vera Saboya is sharing her view on libraries as « a place of power » : « A trip to visit the parc libraries of Medellin have initiated renewed thinking on the current needs of children and young people in terms of public reading in Brazil. This thinking served as a basis for the development of a new reading policy which offers shared knowledge in various formats, thanks to digital nerworks. The integrated areas reflect the subjective changes that each person is living in front of symbolic languages. »

The district of Manghinhos benefited from the first parc library in Brasil. In this humaCapture d’écran 2015-07-08 à 17.45.30nist library, more than 26 000 books are available : great classics from western and eastern literature, philosophy, history, political science and books to meet the local activism (ecology, art books, cinema, photography and children books). The documentation should be both erudite and popular, modern and serious.

Vera explains : “offering the book collection in a disadvantaged neighbourhood, with low percentage of in-school young people, is a way to take into account the  potential of the young people. Favelas are often regarded as places of lack. These libraries regard favelas as places of power. We should have an emotional view on libraries. Some people bear within themselves the history of humanity. The role of the public library should be considered with emotion. What and whose interest is being served ? Nowadays we cannot limit anymore libraries as places for reading and studying or even continuous training. A library is a central place, a place to share written, read, sung, whispered, or even unsaid words.”

An instant impact on people

Five months after the opening of the library in the favela of Manguinhos, a community group was created and published the first literature and art magazine about the neighbourhood, still threatened by violence. After a month of operation, the library had gathered many cultural initiatives and 16 communities that represent about 100 000 inhabitants. The creative writing workshops are becoming a crBin parc 4eative process laboratory, the PalavraLab.

Vera Saboya analyses : « Now and in the future, reading access will be a more and more interactive, fast and multifaceted experience.  Stories and literature worlds will be promoted with two phenomena : personal identity that use reading to create and play within virtual communities, and magic dimension, in 3D pictures, interactivity, legends. The two phenomena should inspire activities and atmosphere of libraries. Vera concludes “We think that libraries are the starting point of a new impulse for knowledge. Through modern and democratic acces to digital tools, they will develop the freedom and creative intelligence of new generations. »

 Bib parc 5