The country’s top fashion and cultural magazine, Philippine Tatler has released its March 2022 issue featuring The Creative List, which according to the editorial team are ‘the visionaries shaping the cultural scene’ of the country. Among those who are included in this A-list are fashion designers and stylists, visual artists, architects and photographers and filmmakers, like Liz Uy, Toff De Venecia, Mark Salvatus, Bea Valdes, Quark Henares, BJ Pascual, Xyza Cruz Bacani, Erwin Romulo, Avid Liongren and Martin Ramirez Escobar. For literature, Tatler cited Ateneo de Naga University Press deputy director and Savage Mind Bookshop founder, Kristian Sendon Cordero.
Tatler writes, ‘The mind behind Naga City’s bustling creative hub is a character of many talents– a poet, translator, independent filmmaker. He is also the creative director of Savage Mind, a bookshop on the surface but more so a cultural center where Bicolano creatives get to share and launch their work. His fervent passion for representing his hometown and its rich talents has brightened the spotlight on Bicol’s diverse culture and output.’
Cordero founded the bookshop and art space in 2018 and has carefully navigated the perilous terrain of creative and business management. Despite the pandemic and the lockdowns, he and his team initiated several artistic projects including the film productions of two short films (An Kapadagusan kan Agi-Agi kan Gamgam na Adarna and Anima Sola) as director, screenwriter and co-producer screened during the the last two ECQ Film Festivals sponsored by the National Committee for Cinema of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Through the university press, Cordero has on-going translation and TV animation and radio drama projects with the Czech Embassy in Manila and National Council for Children’s Television and the National Book Development Board, two government agencies that have been equally supportive of Cordero’s artistic engagements.
In a recent interview that appeared in Words Without Borders, (WWB), a digital literary magazine committed to promoting international literatures, Cordero speaks about the importance of the bookshop in the life of the community and how these literary translations in the local languages become an ethical practice. Cordero says, ‘As a bookshop, we highlight these translation projects we have done in partnership with the Czech embassy in Manila by dedicating a shelf to all these projects. Eight books translated into ten different languages in the Philippines have been published under this cultural collaboration. Translation will always be the future of literature. No regional or national literature will grow if it only concerns itself with its own agenda, but if we continue to “cross-country” by way of our literary resources, we will ensure that people will be more accommodating, tolerant, and respectful.’
For the full interview, please click here: https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/article/the-varied-temperaments-of-languages-a-conversation-with-kristian-sendon-co
This year, Cordero will go to South Africa to participate as artist-in-residence in the Stellenbosch Institute of Advance Study where he is expected to finish his first novel.
Savage Mind, now operating with the Tugawe Cove Cafe at the second floor, will soon open its art space and cinema bar, called Kamarin, and it is expected that as we transition to the ‘new normal’, more cultural and artistic events will happen in this place aptly described as the creative heart of Naga City.