Monday, 14 August 2017

"Fields of the whole world, let us unite!"

Julia Steiner, a volunteer who sustains the version of our blog in French (, has just published an article in a newspaper of the central massif -located to the center-south of France. "Fields of the whole world, let's unite!", is its title and in it addresses "The Network of Rural Libraries of Cajamarca: culture to liberate."

"More than a simple network of libraries - there are more than 500 that have flourished in the homes of the communities – it is a popular education project, based on the cultural traditions of the Andean communities. A way to bring reading and books to the rural areas forgotten by governments, and most of all the freedom to think, the tools to defend themselves, to know their rights. To rescue the Andean culture and the peasant world, its knowledge, its stories, its language, that could disappear as the peasant world has disappeared in France.

Here, the libraries are in the homes of the villagers. And the villagers are librarians, volunteers, that come to renew their libraries in the headquarters of the Network, in Cajamarca, walking many kilometers.

The operation of the association is horizontal, there are general assemblies, which allows everyone to meet and decide together which books they are going to write.

Culture is a factor of social bonds, of economic development, a means of opening up in the world. And it is also, then, a peaceful tool of struggle and freedom. These projects - and there are a lot more that exist - demonstrate the importance or necessity of culture in the countryside, but also that rurality is still invented today and will be invented tomorrow.

In these times of political changes, which are more and more distant to the citizens of the centers of power and decision, rural dwellers of the whole world: let us unite to bring the voice of culture, because a future is built in the countryside".

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