TROPICO del LIBRO
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project

Tropico del Libro (“tropic of book”) is an information project born in 2011 and since 2013 included in the Association for social promotion “Open Culture Atlas” – together with the participatory platform of cultural geolocalization of the same name.

We are an open, independent and non-profit association.

Our aim is to contribute to improving the overall effectiveness of the ecosystem of publishing and culture through critical information, enhancement of good practices and facilitation of cooperative networks.

We want to draw more and more attention to the connections between the destiny of the supply chain to that of the whole society, creating references to apparently disconnected but essential themes, which involve the fields of education, ecological sustainability, active citizenship and ability to communicate.

Everyone talks about it, but creating a community is extremely difficult, because we are not able to communicate. From school to work, what we have been taught is just to “deliver” pieces of information, not to “share” resources. Starting from the awareness of this problem makes our work even more thrilling.

What we have always done, and will keep on doing, is to create content in an attempt to offer different points of view, analytical but not pedantic, critical but open to dialogue, qualified but not esoteric, maintaining a consistent editorial care and assuring the possibility of an always independent overall vision.

We work with readers, editors, librarians, publishers, booksellers, writers, translators, graphic designers, printers, in order to make it possible to be more and more aware of the context and the inner workings of italian publishing, in such a way to implement practices of consumption/work which are consistent with our values.

We chose publishing as a favourite field of action beacuse we think that reading is one of the easiest way to know what is distant from us and to acquire the ability to think in a critical and deep way. That’s why we have to act so that the chain behind publishing is healthy and effective.

We don’t believe, though, that the process of individual and collective growth has to depend strictly from textual education: at some time, it is necessary to be able to go into the world and to experiment with one’s own body, in harmony with other people and the environment.

For institutional updates, changes and new arrivals at Tropico / Atlas, read the blog of the Members: ~ in trasparenza.
HOW

1. Visibility. We started with an index in which all the useful information for the sector is catalogued; an analytic census (through review or questionnaire) of the links related to the book, considered from every point of view: the reader who wants to buy it; the publisher who wants to make it (investigating the services that take care of the book’s layout, print and promotion); the student who wants to learn how to translate it; the professional who seeks a job in its supply chain; the writer looking for advice or an agent; and so on. This in-depth study of the context, which was useful to us in the first place, is a common ground of information/knowledge accessible by everyone, and at the same time a means of promotion for the subjects who work in the sector.

2. Reflection. We have created a journalistic kind of information in a field where it is rare to do so.

3. Dialogue. We have created a place for ethical (and free) intermediation between supply and demand of work in the publishing sector. We have opened and supervised some reflection groups between professionals and non-professionals, like Being a bookseller today, Libraries: common good and Publishing courses today. Thanks to the creation of the collaborative platform Open Culture Atlas, the Association means to become more and more useful as an instrument of dialogue and cooperation.

4. Proposal. We have understood that, in order to change things, the time has come for us to get out of the web and into the physical world, in order to give substance to our projects. We are planning and carrying out some local meetings, as well as an eco-friendly location in the woods around the Bolsena lake, the second biggest volcanic lake in Europe, cradle of the Etruscan world.