Finally, after almost 6 months with an interim minister, President Gustavo Petro appointed Juan David Correa as the new Minister of Culture. Correa is a writer and editor with experience in various institutions. His last job was at Editorial Planeta for five years.
The appointment was announced by President Petro on his Twitter account. “The new Minister of Culture will be Juan David Correa, a writer and editor from the University of Los Andes,” Petro stated concisely.
Who is the new minister?
The new minister was born in Bogota in 1976. He graduated in Literature from the University of Los Andes, and later worked as a writer in the Culture section of the newspaper El Espectador. Some time later, he worked as a correspondent in Paris for the same media outlet, while continuing to publish his literary column “Ojo a las hojas” (“Eye on the Pages”).
For two years, he also worked for the magazine Cromos and was an editor for the magazine Arcadia from 2005 to 2009, becoming its director between 2014 and 2018. Correa was also linked to the National Library as coordinator of cultural activities. He founded the publishing house El Peregrino, and from 2011 until joining Planeta, he was the cultural coordinator of the Colombian Book Chamber and the cultural director of the Bogota Book Fair.
He is also the author of 5 books: “Pedro Almodóvar: alguien del montón” (“Pedro Almodóvar: Someone Ordinary”), “Las bibliotecas cuentan” (“The Libraries Count”), “Emoción, risa y convicción: cuatro años de cooperación colombo-francesa en bibliotecas” (“Emotion, Laughter, and Conviction: Four Years of Colombian-French Cooperation in Libraries”), “Todo pasa pronto” (“Everything Passes Soon”), and his latest work “El barro y el silencio” (“The Mud and the Silence”).
His Resignation from Planeta Made Headlines
A little over fifteen days ago, he resigned from his position at Editorial Planeta, following the controversy that arose when the publisher refused to publish “La costa nostra,” by Colombian writer Laura Ardila Arrieta, which portrays the Char family in Barranquilla. In his resignation letter, the now minister argued that “given the corporate decision to cancel this serious and solid journalistic investigation, my possibilities and legitimacy have been diminished.”
“An editor undoubtedly needs support and freedom to decide which conversations to propose to society, and from this moment on, those that I have been interested in promoting about racism, gender, the country’s history, sociological essays, journalistic investigations, or critical thinking will be questioned by many writers who will wonder if what I propose will have a good outcome or will be shipwrecked before docking,” Juan David Correa stated in his resignation letter.
Correa’s gesture was applauded by 95 writers who sent him a letter of thanks while showing their support for Laura Ardila. Among them were names such as Hugo Chaparro, Angela Robledo, Federico Garcia-Granados, and Doris Salcedo, among others. Laura Ardila herself thanked Correa for his attitude in a tweet on her Twitter account, highlighting the editor’s courage. “These lessons of dignity and consistency are not common. My respect for you @jdcorreau,” wrote the writer, who had been dismissed by Planeta.
Juan David Correa thanked President Gustavo Petro for his appointment with a brief note on his social media. Correa reaffirmed, as his predecessor Patricia Ariza had done before being removed in February, that “social change is, above all, a cultural and collective change.”