Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

Fiction & Feminism with Colombia's Velia Vidal

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Velia Vidal & Carolina Orloff

“You know me, I’m just like the Pacific. I can be calm one minute and then suddenly break into great powerful waves, which crash down and end up changing the landscape.”

Colombian feminist Velia Vidal is a writer who loves the sea and shared readings.

Vidal is a tour de force, a promoter of literacy and literature in Colombia’s most deprived region and the author of Tidal Waters, an award winning novel being translated and published by the tremendous folk at Charco Press.

We're thrilled to welcome this celebrated activist and writer to Edinburgh to give a peek at the book to come, offer insights into contemporary Colombian feminism and the role literature can (and should) play in fighting inequality and racism.

Whether you are a lover of translated fiction, are curious about Black Feminism in Latin America, or just enjoy discovering new words and views from around the world, THIS is the night for you!

Upcoming novel: Tidal Waters

An epistolary, fictional account of one woman moving towards happiness in the black community of Colombia’s Pacific coast. After a long absence, the writer of these letters has come home to Chocó, to the Afro-Colombian community, to her family, to the sea. This is where the Pacific meets the Caribbean, and where she’s establishing herself anew.

Tidal Waters is one side of a years-long correspondence describing that homecoming, and her work to build a literary centre, writing career, and festival with and for the people there. Yet it is also a claim-staking of her decision to pursue happiness now; an account of her immersion in the towns and rivers and forests she came from; a redefinition of her relationship to sex and love in real time; and a vision of how creating something (for your community, for yourself) is a way of reading and writing your way into a known place and a new self.

Velia Vidal:

She appeared on the BBC 100 Women 2022 list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world. She was awarded a British Library Eccles Centre Fellowship 2023. For her book Aguas de estuario, she won the Afro-Colombian Authors Publication Grant. She is the co-author of Oír somos río (2019) and its bilingual German-Spanish edition (Grindwal Kollektiv, 2021). She is the founder and director of the Motete Educational and Cultural Corporation and the Chocó Reading and Writing Festival (FLECHO). Vidal graduated in Afro-Latin American Studies and has a Masters in Reading Education and Children’s Literature. She is also a journalist and specialist in social management and communication.

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