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Asso-prize 2018: An Interview with Françoise Huppertz, founder of El Calidoscopio

El Calidoscopio, the winning association of the Asso-prize 2018 is based in Mexico. Last year, they made us discover the book “HispanoAmérica: Vision contemporanea”, by Cameroonian co-authors Ebenezer Billé and Georges Moukouti Ongédou. The book was awarded in the Research category of the 2017 edition of the Grand Prix of Literary Associations.

It is also thanks to El Calidoscopio’s fieldwork that the GPLA is now quite well known in literary circles in Mexico. Its president and founder, the Belgian-Canadian Françoise Huppertz, has greatly contributed to introduce Spanish language in the GPLA, in particular by raising awareness among Mexican authors and associations on the interest of taking part in competition.

Today this great contribution continues to bear fruit and we can say to a certain extent that the eligibility of Spanish language to the GPLA is also Françoise Huppertz’ legacy. However, this acknowledgement for El Calidoscopio is not just a simple mark of gratitude, but also the recognition of its involvement in various literary and educational activities which alone could have justified the awarding of the Asso-Prize 2018.

Françoise Huppertz founder of El Calidoscopio

Question:

How do you feel, having your efforts for promoting literature and the intermingling of cultures thus recognized on an international level, in particular by the coronation of the Asso-prize 2018 that has just been awarded to your association for this purpose?

El Calisdoscopio: Congratulations always bring a smile and the self-satisfaction for having done a good job. I am not an exception to this rule, and I sincerely thank the GPLA for giving me this opportunity.

Question:

If you had to present El Calidoscopio project in a few words, its course, its objectives, the circumstances of its creation …

El Calidoscopio: So, in a few words, I initially founded “El Calidoscopio” to value young talents in Mexico, and to teach them how to express their thoughts in writing in order to give them confidence. The main purpose was to increase their self-esteem through writing workshops for children and teenagers, theaters-plays preparation, initiation to cinema, artisanal book publishing, participation in literary competitions …. The objective is always to express the human soul to feel better, to learn to know ourselves to better understand others, without losing curiosity by reading what is being done elsewhere. The colors of the kaleidoscope are endless and they miraculously crossed the path of GPLA. What beautiful discoveries !!!!

Question:

What is your opinion, as an observer, about the evolution of contemporary literature, on an international level but also in Mexico in particular, where you have been living for several years now?

El Calidoscopio: Contemporary international literature is doing very well; thanks to all the new technical means we can rely on. In Mexico where 44% of the population is under 25 years old (2017), it is very important to give priority to the training of young people, in order to stem all negative or unrelated thoughts with their reality, because their imagination is sometimes limitless. Literary associations should also have an interest in devoting part of their activities to this training in order to take care of our future literary heritage on a world level. It is important to seek and encourage the potential. Once again all my gratitude and admiration for the work of the GPLA team.

Question:

We know the perennial problem of scarcity of subsidies, which often plague cultural associations; which resource is your association relying on?

El Calidoscopio: We are here talking about money, the common denominator and predatory monster of so many beneficial achievements! I cannot say that El Calidoscopio has found the good way out, but we continue our journey relying solely on volunteerism, which also strongly inspires teenagers and gives them the impetus to turn their dreams into reality.

Question:

If you had to share a message of hope with all those who like literature across the world, write books or at least try to promote reading, what would it be?

El Calidoscopio: Literature and writing in general will always remain magical symbols of universal consciousness, and no machine will replace that. Reading is the essence of knowledge and allows countless discoveries.

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