When in 2017 laititia colombani (Bordeaux, 1976) erupted in the French literary scene Knitting Nothing could have foreseen him that his book would become one of the release events of the season, reaching more than two million readers. Diverse as a film director, actress and screenwriter, he says his passion for storytelling turned the camera into a blank slate. Since then, he has published two more books. Winners (2019), and his latest novel, The plane of the kiteIt will land in Spain with Salamandra on March 3, and he returns to the continuing themes of his story: Brotherhood and the rights of women and girlsIn addition to the importance of education in female emancipation.
Leticia Columbine, immersed in filming the adaptation of her first novel to be taken to India, Canada and Italy in the coming months, joins her from home by video call a few days before leaving for Asia, where she will spend some time. Untouchables near Varanasi. “I wanted to continue the adventure of that book that I did not expect – he shares – I wanted to continue this way.” He is responsible for the screenplay and direction, and is responsible for selecting venues, sets and cast. “Everything is magical. Getting the story format and being embedded in the project is part of the magic of cinema, ”he argues.
Not in vain KnittingThere is a lot to do with writing Kite flight, There he takes the story of a character from that introduction, Lalita, and returns to the Asian country. “The French teacher says – the French teacher, a reader, wrote me a letter saying that he had set up a school in Rajasthan and invited me to visit his project to see how he worked.” Shocked by the testimony, Columbine decided he wanted to see for himself and accepted the glove. “I was with his team, some of the students at the school, and, above all, some untouchable women. When I came back, it was clear to me that I needed to write about the foundations of a school like this French teacher who became the woman for my novel.
Listen. What impressed you the most on that trip?
Answer. I have traveled to India many times and visited various places. What always amazes me is the poverty, the number of people, the many people we want to help, living on the streets in extreme poverty. It moves me, while at the same time it is a wonderful country. We see how the scary and the classic go hand in hand. But this particular trip really impressed me Testimony of children and, above all, teenagers aged 12 or 13 who are afraid that their parents will marry them. I remember a 14 year old girl who was married and already had her first child. I am a mother, which fascinated me. So I thought I would tell the story of these women who live in villages, who do not go to school and who are married at a young age. That’s something I can’t say Knitting And wanted to do it.
India, a country of insurmountable contradictions
B. As he mentions, India is a very different country. What is it that most fascinates and shocks us?
R. India is a country of yoga, meditation, Ayurvedic medicine and ashrams. Has a very strong spiritualityVery developed, but, at the same time, Lives with a very violent community, A very big discrimination. Not all men there are equal, and some are considered superior to others. This is the basis of castes. For those of us who live in a reality where people are born free and equal, this is very shocking.
B. On The plane of the kite It also places so much emphasis on the history of untouchable girls, why so much special attention?
R. Yes, untouchables are a community that is highly discriminated against by other people and they only interact with each other. The traditions of these early marriages remain the same, eventually increasing poverty. I was able to see some of these cities, and although people find it very difficult to eat, I was amazed at the desire for children to learn and go to school. For them education is their salvation Also, even though they live like their parents, the determination, strength and desire to learn of these girls and boys seemed like a great lesson to me.
B. Your novel precisely emphasizes the importance of education in women’s freedom and children’s rights: “The education of a woman educates an entire nation”, the African proverb you quoted in your book?
R. Yes, absolutely. I know women under the age of 30 who have twelve children and can not even feed them. By giving them the opportunity to study, we too can eliminate this circle of poverty. If women get married at the age of 18 instead of 13, it is easy for them to refuse to do so, they can at least choose. So for me I am convinced that the education of women is a fundamental one Society cannot go well without the opportunity of education.
B. One of the decisions made by its protagonist, why is it so difficult to break traditions and habits that are worse than suffering?
R. This is very worrying, but tradition carries a great deal of weight, especially in the countryside. On one of my trips, I met a woman who was crying uncontrollably because she was married to her daughters, aged 14 and 15. We asked them why they were crying since they were getting married. He replied that things were working out there because it had to be done. The weight of traditions is very important. This woman was also married at that age. She recreated what she had experienced because she believed there was no other possibility. In a way, talking to them about education is about projecting their children’s schooling and giving them another perspective on things. It’s like opening a door, but it’s hard to open because they are ancient traditions His belief in reincarnation was a form of resignation. They firmly believe that there is a better life in the hereafter and that waiting in the present life can only be done by resigning.
A song for sister
B. All your novels are always done by women, would you say they are sister song? Need stories like this?
R. Yes, like the previous novels, this one is a novel that speaks to the scorpion Knitting And Winners. I was inspired by these female characters based on the women around me and the women I meet during my travels. Every time I go to a different country, I try to listen to women and tell me about their lives, their hardships, their joys and their struggles. Sorority is the most important value to me In my daily life, I firmly believe in this help so that we can weave between ourselves.
B. You write about groups of red forces, women and teenagers, who learn to fight and defend themselves. Were you in touch with them?
R. I found them in many reports and I have not had the opportunity to meet them directly, but I have documented a lot about them. The First Regiment was born about ten years ago in the north of the country and was responsible for the protection of women in neighboring countries. The character Usha I am writing about in the book is real, she is about 30 years old and she created this battalion to teach women to fight and retaliate against aggression. They were later followed and today thousands of women and girls in India have been trained in martial arts by them. It seemed wonderful to me to see how women decided to take this option to protect themselves. I sometimes talk about women who start at the age of 12 or 13, they are very young, but they are bold and at best determined. They act as role models and role models for other people. Further They save many girls from attacks, attempted rapes, murders and abductions. Your work is essential.
B. As you mentioned in your book, the largest child labor market in the world is in India, isn’t it terrifying that it continues into the 21st century?
R. Child exploitation is possible because the law bans child labor in India, but there are many ways to get around that law. For example, children can work exceptionally well if they work for their family and there are many family businesses, so everyone works for a relative’s cousin. I often talk about twelve hours of physical activity a day. I will say that The government closes its eyes, and so do we. It is also true that we did not know much until we traveled to India.
B. In this sense, in our book about our responsibility as outsiders to that reality, one of its protagonists asks precisely whether it is legal to fight for some reason, do you think so?
R. This is a difficult balance and something I considered when I started writing this novel. I questioned my reasoning for writing about all this. What is my location? But I think women who write, untouchables, women, don’t have the opportunity to write a book about how they live because they don’t have the opportunity to go to school or study. In the background, You can talk about everything while listening and respecting the words of others. In this sense, my role as a writer is to express that reality without giving moral lessons and without trying to make any judgments about it. Yet, when you see a 13-year-old girl forcibly married crying on her wedding day, it feels the same, whether it is Indian, Spanish, French or English. A child’s tears are a universal oneThis is what I understood.
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