Rodrigo Islas, the Oaxacan journalist who survived the pandemic by writing books

Oaxaca, Oax.- Just as Oaxaca is multidiverse with its 570 municipalities, Rodrigo Islas Brito it is too. Its narrative and the way of capturing its essence transports you to a vast Oaxaca that resists, exists and insists on maintaining its identity at a time when it is being offered to the highest bidder.

The Covid-19 pandemic made Rodrigo a writer and seller of three literary works that he published independently together with Alfonso Morales Toledo, and that distributes on its own with friends, acquaintances and strangers, through social networks.

Days of Struggle in the Golden City, The Gangsters of the Future and The Train of Days now comprise an entity called Pandemic Editions and have been sold more than 1,500 times directly by the author, without the distribution of any library.

“Self-publishing is disqualified by the big circles, but after Covid 19 finished showing us what the world is like, this is essential to rethink our relationship with the institutional, with the system, with our own act of creating and living to the last consequences of what we create”, defines the author.

It is a challenge to write, print and sell independently, acknowledges the creator of the train of daysblack novel that talks about a feminicidal culture rooted in a deeply corrupt and sexist country. He began to write the work in 2003 and 19 years later he consolidated it.

Tenacious, critical and dreamy, Islas Brito expresses that starting to write novels in a pandemic It was for the exclusive reasons of economic survival, Well, he lost his two jobs as a reporter, which led him to seek creative and economic independence that until before he did not even know he needed.

“I haven’t always believed in myself but now I had to change my mind. People have bought my books, they read them, they share their opinions and encourage me to write more. So far I have had at least a few thirty presentations in four states of the country since the pandemic coexistence restrictions eased,” adds the 2017 Gonzo National Journalism Award winner.

Writing about Oaxaca and its realities does not cost much, acknowledges Rodrigowhat is difficult is to raise awareness, because those who live outside of it have created colonialist thoughts, believing that tradition is gentrification, that folklore is exploitation.

With his light character and focused on his decisions and beliefs, this writer emphasizes that Whoever reads his three novels will take a lot from Oaxaca, but of those inequalities that few write, few speak and few recognize.

Oaxaca is not only the FILO

With the desire to contribute, the author of the choral and controversial novel gangsters of the future He also spoke about the recent 42nd edition of the International Book Fair in Oaxaca (FILO), about which he points out that must really aspire to real inclusion.

That is, open more spaces for Oaxacan writers and independent publishing efforts, peripheral to the business interests that govern the country’s publishing market.

Rodrigo mentioned that for four editions he worked at FILO as a chronicler and reporter and that gives him the basis to observe that it is not bad for writers to come from elsewhere, but the organizers must not lose sight of the fact that if they say that this is a fair from Oaxaca; the people of Oaxaca must have the opportunity to show the level of their narrative and their story about a state whose charm is that resistance to finish being all that it is always required to be.

“The culture of a place must always be in movement. Nurturing, forming, questioning. With that, the FILO should really commit itself, with the place that it claims to represent, and not only with the very valid economic interests that it seeks to solve”, he defined.

Inspired by the films and novels of Juan Rulfo as Pedro Paramothe writer he is already preparing his fourth work Coast, who will talk about the beaches of Oaxaca and its fickle underground life.

Faced with an increasingly violent world and the existence of increasingly indolent politicians and a society that is sinking in fear by leaps and bounds, Rodrigo proposes three novels whose narrative quality is neat, reflective and critical, leaving behind the romanticism of an Oaxaca in crisis like the rest of the country, a place that the author defines as the last bastion of resistance that Mexico has left.