Two Gibraltarians selected for Rock Retreat / Accord Literary Retreat in Accra


Beatrice Garcia photo credited to Rita Boleiro

Two Gibraltarians have been selected to participate at The Rock Retreat/ Accord Literary creative retreat in Accra, Ghana. Accra was chosen as a venue, while acting as World Book Capital, as it is the city in which Accord Literary was founded.

The two attendees who are sponsored by Gibraltar Cultural Services, form part of a group of twenty-seven authors and artists who will be part of the initiative. Gabriella Chipol, who is a writer currently studying a Masters in Publishing at University College London, said: “As a Gibraltarian creative writer, I focus on the themes of identity, representation, love, community and belonging. I am eager to represent Gibraltarian voices in the retreat and, by extension, promote Gibraltarian authors into the wider discursive literary framework. The ability to write, to create and tell stories, is a tool of empowerment; one that can inspire younger generations of readers and future writers.”

Beatrice Garcia who is an illustrator and fine artist currently based in Madrid said: “I would love the opportunity to come to Accra and through the international language of images and illustration get to know all the writers and illustrators who will be attending. I’m interested in the cultural exchange that will naturally arise upon sharing stories.”

Eleanor Dobbs, GCS 2022 Cultural Ambassador, and co-host of the retreat said: “Both Gabriella and Beatrice’s submissions really stood out to us when making the selection. They are both dynamic, exciting, and original creators who we know will benefit enormously from the opportunity of being part of this international group, working and learning together in Accra.”

Minister for Culture John Cortes commented: “This is an exciting development for local writers, and one supported by the Ministry and by the National Book Council too. I want to congratulate Gabriella and Beatrice and wish them well in this event.”

The retreat runs from the 29th May to the 2nd June and will involve workshops, lectures, sharing, skill building and growing community. Part of the retreat involves visits to local places of interest and meetings with writers and artists who live and work in Accra. The opportunity to learn about other people’s work practise is core to the workshop with people attending from across the African continent, Europe, the Caribbean and North America.