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Presentation

Escritura(s) was created to be an observatory and a place of exchange that will be a go-to resource for research, teaching and the artistic practice of writing. We promote initiatives directed, first of all, to the public in general (i.e. to all those people who have a desire to broaden their education in the art of writing) and, secondly, to teachers and creators (both amateur and professional).

Fundación Escritura(s) begins with the premise that all human beings, by nature, are tellers of stories who are able to maintain an active and creative relationship with poetry and with the diverse languages of artistic expression. This capacity, which is central to the integral education of any person, has in general been greatly neglected by educational institutions. For example, our great-grandparents, even though many were illiterate, were able to retell stories in a much more expressive, suggestive and effective manner than the generations that followed them. This impoverishment in the use of language in recent decades is a worldwide problem, and is one of the greatest concerns of the institutions that regulate and direct educational institutions.

If we add to this the transformation that is occurring in written language, the situation begins to look ever more difficult to resolve. For its part, Fundación Escritura(s) seeks to collaborate in the clarification of the deeper conflict and in possible strategies to resolve it. This explains the "s" in parenthesis in the Foundation's name: the evidence that at the moment of its founding (in the middle of the second decade of the 21st century) written language is undergoing a radical transformation. On the one hand, writing is becoming more widespread: it is rapidly supplanting many kinds of exchanges that were once carried out orally (e. g. telephone conversations). On the other hand, this is a "broadened" writing, one which unfolds in a new language, a hybrid language where words, photographs, images in motion, sounds, emoticons and other graphic resources coexist in a natural way, in a new context characterized by great interactiveness.

One need only observe how the general population uses a communication tool like SMS or WhatsApp, where people with only a slight familiarity with the technology begin to mix the written word with all kinds of image and audiovisual resources (often created by the user him or herself) to become aware that radical changes in written language are occurring at an accelerated pace.

One might wonder about the effect of this transformation upon literary creation: for instance, how will writers relate to this "written" language, when it needs to be reconstructed with a certain fidelity in the context of a narration that will be read on a screen page? Will they use images? Videos? Will they learn and use the complicated weave of graphic icons that today aid in written communication? In what language above languages will our writers be writing in?

And, perhaps most importantly, how will institutions that are slow in their reactions relate to this new reality, which changes ever more rapidly—although on occasions this results in a fortunate delay—, institutions such as the school, the university, the educational establishment? Children and adolescents begin to write with great fluency, taking advantage of all the new resources for expression offered by this broadened concept of writing that is proper to screen pages. It is, in fact, their language, is it they who are guiding its rapid evolution, anticipating uses that are later employed by adults. What is the role of professors of language who are sensitive to this new scene? Do they have, for example, knowledge about the photographic and audiovisual language needed for guiding their pupils in the use of this broader kind of writing—writing(s)—, languages that those pupils are already using for their daily communication?

These questions lead us to choose the new writing methods proper to screen pages—pages of light, in contrast with paper pages, which today are losing ground—as one of our central objects of study and research. We also have the objective of analysing and debating with teachers and professors about strategies for incorporating reflection and the use of this new linguistic reality in the realm of teaching, as well as trying to provide with working tools all those who decide to take on the teaching challenge involved in this new scenario.

In conclusion, it isn't hard to detect that all the elements for producing an evolution are being brought together—indeed, already taken for granted in the popular realm of written communication—, an evolution that will continue to radically transform the use of written resources. Thus, it seems clear that writing will continue to adapt, more and more, to what the new devices have to offer. In any case, we would be witnessing the emergence of a new language: nobody yet knows what rules shape it, and thanks to the people, in a broad sense, it is still undergoing creation and evolution. And, for the first time in the history of humanity, this language creation is occurring on a global scale in a truly collaborative fashion.

Fundación Escritura(s) seeks, in this context, to both serve as a global observatory and to establish international relationships with other institutions that are also working in the direction we are proposing. With this intention in mind, in its first phase Fundación Escritura(s) is formed of two branches, one intended for the Spanish-speaking world and the other for the English-speaking world.

Before finishing this presentation we must clarify that, faced with the disquieting process of the virtualization of life that the ongoing technological revolution brings with it, and far from just emphasising the technological factor—key to the development of the new languages that are proper to screen pages or light pages—, Fundación Escritura(s) will prioritize proposals that enjoy a greater relationship with the tangible world, privileging creative activities and strategies that obligate participants to relate to the physical environment of people: family, neighbourhood, town, workplace, teaching center, etc. as well as strategies for collaborative work that promote a direct, non-virtual relationship between persons.


Objectives and actions

 

Workshops

The development in distinct formats of three workshops central to an integral education in relation to a broadened practice of writing in accordance with today's necessities:
Creative Writing Workshop (Literary)
Photographic Writing Workshop
Audiovisual Writing Workshop
We believe that, prior to establishing didactic strategies that permit deepening the relationships of the three central elements that can be glimpsed in a broadened concept of writing—word, photographic image, image in movement and sounds—they must first be taught separately, at least at a basic level.
The distinct formats of each of these workshops (as with their possible combinations) will be directed, on the one hand, to the public in general, in economically accessible forms; on the other hand, it will focus on schools, institutes and universities, as well as on municipal cultural centres (libraries, etc.) and associations for cultural dynamisation in neighbourhoods and small towns.

 

Materials

A collection of documentation and exchange intended for professors and teachers of language and literature, as well as the development of a plan for training working professors of creative writing and complementary studies, so they can present, in the classroom, a writing(s) workshop as a learning tool for a fluid and expressive relationship with written language, including its new and more popular uses.

 

Club de escritura

The development and management of activities for a writing club that will allow a large number of people to exchange their work and experiment with the new tools of expression proper to screen pages or light pages. Currently the Foundation runs Club de escritura and participates in ongoing negotiations for the cloning and opening of new clubs in various languages and in collaboration with a variety of institutions.

 

Publications

The production of new digital publications, giving priority to those of a collective character, which integrate creations that are the product of the relationships between traditional written language and photography, audiovisual art and other media proper to the realm of screen pages. The first of these publications, Historias de familia, is already available.

 

Collection of resources

The creation of a collection of materials and teaching resources relating to creative (literary) writing and connected topics. Fundación Escritura(s) is in the process of entering into agreements for filming classes and specialized seminars that will enrich this collection. It is negotiating the cession and translation of teaching materials developed by various institutions, and is seeking agreements for funding with which to finance the permanent expansion of the collection.

 

New Narratives

The design of a specific area of research and resources concerning new, interactive, online narrative formats, with specialized workshops, teaching materials, interviews with programmers interested in a broadened concept of writing(s), web designers and specialists in interactivity and other areas proper to the digital formats that affect how we read and write today on screen pages.

 

Collective creation

A resource collection for exploring collective creation, where exploration and relating with the community in its various dimensions (town, neighbourhood, city, workplace, educational centre, etc.) are on the first plane.

 

Teachers

Design of a space for exchange specifically imagined for primary and secondary school teachers and university instruction, as well as fostering studies, fieldwork, contacts and dialogues with the educational institutions on which depend the basic, secondary and university instruction related to the teaching of creation writing

.

 

Help for creation projects

Development of a fundraising strategy in order to aid with creative projects and research that use the new languages proper to light pages, and which find their natural domain of diffusion on the web or through virtual networks (exchange of files via mail, tweets, sms, etc.).


 

Who We Are

Escritura(s) arose as the initiative of a group of people with decades of experience in the popularization of creative writing, as a discipline within reach of anybody who has the desire to express him or herself with a greater richness of language and creativity. Some of us have been pioneers in the Spanish-speaking world: together with other educational institutions (mostly private) specialized in the didactics of literary creation, we have come to a point where the writing workshop has become widely accepted as an excellent tool for teaching language and literature.

On our team we have people with great experience in the didactics of creative writing, people who understand—and have creative experience with—a broadened concept of writing, as well as philologists who have an interest in studying the new habits of reading and writing that are proper to screen pages.