We stand together for independent publishing that is committed to our society, the environment and humanity
Gathered in the city of Pamplona-Iruñea from 23 to 26 November 2021 at the fourth International Conference of Independent Publishers, organised in partnership with EDITARGI (Association of Independent Publishers of Navarre), we, the publishers of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers (IAIP), reaffirm our commitment to:
• the cultural, social and political character of books and reading;
• the democratisation of books in our societies;
• reading as an emancipatory practice that strengthens the critical thinking of citizens and stakeholders within their society.
The dynamism of independent publishing is an expression of cultural diversity in the world of books.
However, we question the impact of major technological changes and express our concern about the continued and ever-increasing concentration of the publishing sector. We are also concerned about the structural inequalities that persist in the world of books, the hegemony of cultural colonialism and the incessant expression of multiple forms of censorship that suppress diversity.
These concerns are an obstacle to equitable participation in the cultural life of our societies. Therefore we, as publishers, emphasise that independent publishing has a vocation to resist the pressure of continued commodification in the world of books.
We are firmly committed to:
• reaffirming the cultural, social and political value of books, by asserting our commitment to the Alliance – a platform for experimentation and reflection, a laboratory of alternative publishing practices;
• promoting bibliodiversity through a decolonial, ecological, feminist, free, social and solidarity-based perspective;
• supporting publishing in marginalised and minority languages as a significant expression of the cultural diversity of our societies;
• elaborating a decolonial, social and geopolitical ecology for the book, taking into account the interdependencies, the non-hierarchical and horizontal relations of actors and networks involved in of book publishing;
• ensuring that the book, which we consider to be a common good, has a social and solidarity-based character, by working towards:
• a fair price for books, which takes into account their ecosystem and makes sustainable publishing possible;
• fair and equitable incomes for both authors and publishers;
• reduced pay gaps between workers within publishing houses to avoid widening inequalities in earnings.
• researching and promoting practices that contribute to environmental protection:
• by printing within the country we are located in and work out of, where conditions permit;
• by limiting print runs to avoid pulping of copies and overstocking;
• by avoiding the use of plastics as far as possible and where this does not compromise the durability of the book.
• strengthening fair speech:
• by fighting against all forms of censorship (political, religious, moral, cultural, sexual, gender and market);
• by denouncing media concentration and the control of speech which in practice limit freedom of expression;
• by firmly opposing discourses of stigmatising and dehumanising.
• strengthening the International Alliance of Independent Publishers in its role as a facilitator of our solidarity network, to promote and advocate our shared values and common work.
This Declaration is in line with the discussions and work of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, in particular the Declarations of 2003, 2007 and 2014 and the 80 recommendations in favour of bibliodiversity. It will be complemented by a Guide to Good Practice (collective work in progress, for publication in the first half of 2022).
International network of 800 independent publishing houses in 55 countries around the world www.alliance-editeurs.org
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