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Photography ©️ Márcia Lessa

Opening Conference

Every Story Matters / Cada História Conta

 Lisbon, Portugal

19 November 2019

Everybody has the right to discover literature and to create stories, Your socio-economic or cultural background, gender, sexual preference or mental and physical abilities should not matter. Sadly not all of us have equal opportunities yet. This is not just a matter of who writes (and who is encouraged to write) but of who gets published, who stands on a stage, who sits in the audience, how people are portrayed in books and how readers identify with the characters in the books. 


During the first conference ‘Every Story Matters/Cada História Conta’, we invited readers, publishers, authors, librarians, teachers, and other book lovers to be part of the promotion of inclusion through literature. We hope they get inspired and will work together to make the world of children’s and youth books more inclusive. Together we can make a difference.

The ‘Every Story Matters/Cada História Conta’ conference is part of the European project ‘Every Story Matters’. The local organizers of the conference are Acesso Cultura, Casa Fernando Pessoa, and Fundação José Saramago. 

With the support of: Creative Europe, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

A word of welcome by Acesso Cultura (Maria Vlachou), Noemi De Clercq and Flanders Literature (Stefanie Luppens & Yannick Geens).

‘In favor of bibliodiversity.’ Keynote speech Carla Oliveira


Publisher Carla Oliveira, the founder of the Portuguese Orfeu Negro, points out how the children's series Orfeu Mini consciously wants to deviate from the norm and stereotypes. While the publisher closely monitors the diversity of stories, styles, and perspectives on offer, she hopes that her publications will encourage children, in particular, to be themselves, despite their differences.

Panel discussion with writers and publishers


In this panel discussion we focus on how inclusive content can be created. What is the importance of a balanced and diverse publication list? Which perspectives are lacking and how do we create new role models? What are possible pitfalls and what can we learn from the process? Inviting both authors and illustrators as well publishers, we want to get more grip on these different challenges and think about how we can make a change towards more inclusive books happen, together. Panel discussion with: Joana Estrela, Planeta Tangerina (PT). Chafina Bendahman, Rose Stories (NL). Aimée Felone, Knights Of (UK). Ana Biscaia, graphic design and illustrator (PT). Moderator: Noemi De Clercq.

Keynote speech Temi Odumosu

In her keynote #Representationmatters, Temi Odumosu, lecturer at the University of Malmö in Sweden, shows how images today are often still loaded with contexts from the past. Some things that at first glance appear to be progressive sometimes build on a less emancipatory or positive context. To be able to move forward we should start by being personally involved and interrogating our own bias. Let’s ask ourselves and the images we use and consume: what are my blind spots? Who is leading, who is supporting? How are ideas embedded in the image?

Panel discussion with librarians, teachers, public


Library professionals and teachers discuss their role in making sure inclusive books can be picked up and read by (young) audiences. Panel discussion with: Susana Silvestre, Network of Lisbon Municipal Libraries (PT). Martin Zandi, Roskilde Library (DK). João Paulo Proença, teacher, READ ON project, Network of School Libraries (PT). Cleo Tavares, playwright, Aurora (PT). Moderator: Margarida Ferra.

A final word of thanks by Flanders Literature (Yannick Geens) and Acesso Cultura (Maria Vlachou).

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