In the summer of 2016 we decided to organize an activity for children, to vary the long school holiday period. In collaboration with Romy Sordomez, who coordinates Katu beltza, a similar long lasting project in Pamplona, we offered a creative afternoon to young readers. The participants of the workshop (aged between 5 and 8) were designing their own book covers on recycled cardboard.
Our little guests had to prepare at home for the workshop – they had to read or listen to a short story for children, which they later related to the rest of the participants. After hearing each of the stories, the young artists painted or drew their versions of the covers for them. During their work, the parents who accompanied them were sewing the pages of the future books. Some of them also made their own book covers.
The idea to use recycled cardboard for making book covers is not new. It comes from South America, where it is a part of social initiative to help children who live in poverty. Those young people gather and sell recyclable material for living. The editorial houses who work with them (known as ‘editoriales cartoneras’) buy cardboard on higher rates than the official ones and sometimes hire the same people to paint the covers and create books. They publish a wide spectrum of writers; the books are then sold by the editorials workers on street markets at a price accessible to anybody. Normally, books in some of those American countries may reach up to 10% of an average salary.
A big thank you to all the participants!