Interview with Esto no es Berlín, independent publisher that survives labels

By Esto no es Berlín. November 12, 2013


Papel de Fumar, a publishing cooperative of free licenses and "radical but elegant" books was born in late 2010, on a bright room at La Tabacalera centre in the Madrilenian neighborhood of Lavapiés. Two years later, they decided to emancipate and change their name but not their philosophy. The editors of Esto no es Berlín work closely with authors and designers to produce nicely done publications. Confident but surprised of managing to survive in the "gaseous, volatile and neurotic" independent publishing world, Esto no es Berlín stand for constant change and reinvention.

They have just re-launched two of its most successful titles, En este lugar and Y encima es mi cumpleaños, and In the upcoming months we will also see Porn & Pains by Sevillian writer Elisa Victoria. While we wait for that moment to come, we have chatted with Esto no es Berlín with Los Claveles as soundtrack.


Why the change from Papel de Fumar to Esto no es Berlín?

It's in our nature to look for change and be in constant reinvention. Papel de Fumar was born at La Tabacalera self-managed social center in late 2010 as a initiative of Elisa Fuenzalida and other colleagues. It was a nice experience. Two years later, we decided to become independent and follow our own path.

One of our intentions now, when 2013 is almost finished, is to cross borders, ponds, reefs and cliffs towards strong words and, if possible, with the same stubbornness. And example of our nature is the incorporation of Jaime Rodríguez to the publishing house.

How are you living the independent publishing scene in Madrid?

Comfortably, somehow independently to independent publishing. Aware of what this word can drag and at the same time surprised by the fact that our goals still stay afloat. Like every independent scene, it is gaseous, volatile and neurotic, especially in Madrid. So here we are, going step by step to take part in it and trying to contribute to give it a whirl and a break.

What book-shaped plan are you working on now?

We have just re-published two of our hits, En este lugar by Unai Velasco and Y encima es mi cumpleaños by Manuel Astur; what's next is Porn & Pains by Sevillian writer Elisa Victoria. We cannot say much, except that in addition to the personal stories woven around 'real' characters from universal pornography, there is an instruction manual hidden on how to act in certain situations. We recommend it since this moment.

Esto no es Berlín in 5 years.

Five years are five days. You can receive a five minute call and be the happiest person in the world and you can also be really upset in less than five seconds. In five years, Esto no es Berlín will have more friends on Facebook if that social network still exists.

What is the soundtrack of this interview?

First "Con el dinero en la mano" by Los Claveles, then "Los días y la sombra" by Voz Propia and The Shains to close this evening. Enough.

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