Ivana Ares Seijo, library director
Can Llaurador library in Teià has created a literary tour based on the young adult series Retrum, by
Francesc Miralles. The books deal with the adventures of Christian, a teenager living in Teià, when he meets a group of Gothic youngsters who want to communicate with the dead. All the activities in the tour are closely linked to the books and their main elements: the cemetery, the night, the train, clothing, and music.
After searching the story for the locations where the action takes place, we realized we could not focus solely on the cemeteries. The literary route should be seen as a tour that takes advantage of the visit to Teià’s cemetery to get to know Teià’s other landmarks. Luckily, the protagonist of the story walks around the bars, the restaurants, the school and the cultural centres in the area.
The route was marked with QR codes located at the 8 points along the way to Teià which relate to the books. We chose QR codes because they provided us with an affordable way to link the physical and literary setting.
The tour covers five sections:
-the cemeteries in El Maresme
-Sant Cugat del Vallés
Sponsors and colaborators
Last but not least, we needed funding. It was time to start looking for sponsors and collaborators for the activities we had in mind: a talk with the author, a concert and a photography award. We were conscious that we needed to find a different sponsor for each activity and at the time, we just had the books, the tour, and a bunch of ideas. So, when we wrote to possible sponsors we incorporated excerpts from the books related to their business. Our first contact was Cementiris de Barcelona. The director of Quality and Communication, Marta Aladren, www.cbsa.cat, visited Teià’s cemetery and promised to sponsor the two activities we planned to do in the library. She also offered a free night tour of Monjüic cemetery.
The section on European cemeteries was a big challenge: we wanted to offer the library users a chance to travel in Europe, like the characters in the stories. InterRail was the answer. We contacted Joan Franco Coll, head of InterRail Management and Marketing Department, www.interrail.eu/interrail-passes, who provided two 15-day Global Passes for the winner of the photography contest.
Saint George’s festival 2015
We decided to hold all events during Saint George’s festival, since the night is one of the recurring themes in the story.
The talk with the author and the Gothic make-up workshop were held in the library. Participants had been asked to dress in black, like the characters in the books. Later, we gathered in front of the cemetery to attend Nikosia’s concert. Miralles’s band played the soundtrack of Retrum and other sinister songs. He was acompanied by the singer/song-writer Hypatia Pétriz, the violinist Marc Amat, and Jordi Lligadas as sound-technician. After the concert we enjoyed a night walk of the cemetery.
The cemetery, a night view: exhibition and night session
Arenys de Mar Photographic Association contributed to the event with the exhibition The cemetery, a night view. They also offered an evening long exposure photography workshop. After an introductory rundown at the library, the participants met at Teià’s cemetery for the photography session. The photographs submitted are now part of the library’s photographic collection.
Teia’s cemetery photography contest
The purpose of the contest was twofold: to target a young audience, the 18-25 year olds, and to improve the library photographic collection, which proved to be too small at the time of editing the leaflet. We also thought it would be a good idea if the award linked Teià to the rest of Europe. Thus, we were very happy to present the winner with two InterRail Global passes, second class, for a 15-day period, courtesy of InterRail.
The library staff was in charge of the contest rules and the jury selection. Our aim was to engage residents in Teià with an interest in the arts. The members of the jury were: Joan Casellas, action art performer; Josep Duran, photographer; José María Alguersuari, photo journalist for La Vanguardia; and Pep Mas, amateur photographer.
You can see the winner photo and the seven runners up at http://rutaretrum.blogspot.com.es/search/label/Concurs%20de%20fotografia
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
• the route was presented at the 14th Catalan Seminar on Information and Communication www.cobdc.net/14JCID/wp-content/uploads/comunicacions/ruta-literaria-retrum.pdf
• and at the 3rd Badalona Libraries Seminar. http://serveiseducatius.xtec.cat/se-badalona/intranet/index.php?module=pagines&type=user&func=display&pageid=237
• in 2016 Francesc Miralles joined the project “De capçalera” http://biblioteques.gencat.cat/ca/detalls/Article/Tandems-deCapcalera
• Retrum is now compulsory reading for students of 3rd year ESO at Teià’s Secondary School
• students of 3rd year ESO met writer Francesc Miralles at Teià’s cemetery
• guided tour with Francesc Miralles
• 150 participants
WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON
• a book club with the writer in one of the cemeteries included in the Retrum tour, with the collaboration of Barcelona Cemeteries and the Barcelona Libraries Consortium
• an augmented reality map of the literary tour
• Literary tour
• Videos of the cemeteries
Ivana Ares Seijo, library director firstname.lastname@example.org