The New Journalism Foundation -FNPI-, created by García Márquez himself in the city of Cartagena de Indias, and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia joined forces in 2012 to establish an international program of training and creation in which reporters from five continents have the opportunity to expand their range in cultural journalism and to explore Colombia and recount, in Spanish and in English, stories of culture which mix the richness of the traditional and the popular with the latest in literature, music, film and visual arts.
The focus of the workshop in 2017 will be an exploration of the relationship between journalism and fiction with García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude serving as a map on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of its publication. Using the tools of cultural journalism including interviews, reportage and personal commentary, participants will consider the role of cultural journalism in both journalism and fiction, in an era in which creator and audience have an increasingly direct contact, facilitated by digital tools. The workshop will study Cartagena de Indias, Baranquilla, and the town of Aracataca, Gabo’s childhood home, which also served as a model for his fictional Macondo.
Cartagena de Indias is the emotional center of the life and work of Gabriel García Márquez, the place where he built a house with the goal of living out his final years, where many of his novels and stories are set, where he began his career as a journalist, and the base for one of his most important legacies: The Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for New Latin American Journalism -FNPI-.
Cartagena was, moreover, one of the principal ports of colonial Spain, from the 16th century until the beginning of the 19th century, and was declared a UNESCO Historic Site in 1984. Barranquilla, at the mouth of the Magdalena River, where he began his journalistic career, was also the center of Gabo’s first inspiration from a group of young writers and friends. The town of Aracataca, where Gabo spent most of his childhood in the home of his maternal grandparents, later served as the model for the fictional Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude.
From the purely journalistic point of view, this fifth edition of the Fellowship will also provide the opportunity to exchange experiences and strengthen the skills of the participants both in cultural journalism and journalism in general, while focusing on the important relationship of literature to journalism, as modes of writing about culture, history, and the spirit of a nation and a people.
The Fellows will immerse themselves in the specific practices and cultural dynamics of the three sites, getting to know and reporting on their history, protagonists and present day life, analyzing them from different perspectives and dimensions, working with support material from both local and international experts.
The journalists who will take part in this experience will be guided by colleagues of high professional renown, accompanied by guest experts to help expand both their vision and the criteria by which they choose the facts and characters that will serve as the protagonists of their stories.
With its connection to this annual program, the Ministry of Culture and the other sponsoring organizations highlight the passion of Gabriel García Márquez for journalism, film, literature, music and Caribbean culture.