Today, from Libros de las Malas Compañías, we want to talk about our next publication, “Cuentos de Madagascar”. This book will form part of our collection “Serie Negra”, in which we publish our work on restoring the oral memory of black communities; throughout our books we intend to open a window to the rich African oral literature. But we do not focus specifically in Africa, because Africa is not only one continent: we will publish tales from the black Colombian population from Chocó, from black Mexicans, Paraguayan...
Furthermore, all the books published in this collection are linked to a charity project in the area in which we collect the material for our books. We support these projects with the sale of the book. You can also follow the project in this website.
In the case of Cuentos de Madagascar, we collaborate with two NGOs, “Agua de Coco” (Coconut water) and “Bel Avenir”, its counterpart in Madagascar. But let’s start better from the beginning, from our trip to Madagascar, to the compilation of the oral tales.
Our publisher, Ana C. Herreros, Dani, who illustrates our “Serie Negra” collection, and Kike Carbajal, the photographer who always accompanies Ana, were in Madagascar in September 2022. They collected the tales, that, more than a year after, would conform “Cuentos de Madagascar”. They compilated a lot of tales, which the Malagasy women and boys and girls told them, and travelled to Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa, where “Agua de coco” has a farm school, or Antsoamadiro, where there are sapphire mines. Those tales which Ana heard are about queens, sacred trees, zebus and lemures, baobabs... Only in Tulear, Ana heard more than fifty tales from the Malagasy girls, who live in the homes “Agua de coco” and “Bel Avenir” offer them.
Libros de las Malas Compañías collaborate with these two NGOs, which provide better life conditions to these Malagasy boys and girls, giving them a home, as in the case of these girls, or creating a school for the boys who work on the sapphire mines. Yes, you heard well... In Antsoamadiro, as mentioned above, there are sapphire mines. And those who work in there, because they have no other chance, are kids. They enter into holes which are one metre in diameter and twenty metres deep in search of sapphires. From the outside, air is pumped into them so that they can breathe, because down there the diameter is smaller and no air can reach them... That is the reason why Bel Avenir has set up a school, so that they have other options than going to the mine.
Agua de coco and Bel Avenir work tirelessly to give thousands of children and young people access to education so that they can have a better life in the future. That is why we also want to do our bit by financing schooling projects through the sale of the book.
We hope that you are as excited as we are to discover, through these tales, the wonders hidden in this beautiful island which is Madagascar.