The Purple Corner, located next to the entrance inside the library of IE University’s Segovia campus, is a collection of resources on gender equality and gender studies in collaboration with IE Library and the Gender Equality Office.
This corner celebrated its third anniversary last November, and this year it will continue to share and shed light on relevant gender studies.
To understand the collection better, we interviewed Manuela Moscoso, a second-year BCDM student in Segovia, who recently recommended the book My Body by Emily Ratajkowski, to hear her involvement and opinions on it.
N.S.: Could you explain to us the Purple Corner and why you consider it to be important to the IE community?
Manuela Mosco: The Purple Corner was created by the IE Library and two important figures, Soraya Polanco and Beatriz Martinez.
They decided that it was super important to have a space in the library that talks about gender and all of the things that had to do with it, and the fact that it’s so important to have books that talk about those topics in the library. It’s amazing.
Also, every month there’s a member of the IE community that recommends a book for the corner.
V.J.: How did you find out about the Purple Corner and what impulsed you to participate?
M.M.: The first time I entered the library, I was surprised to find a literal purple corner with nice books. It [displayed] two books from one of my favorite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I think it’s a common thing among readers to find [and enjoy] a book from an author you know because it makes you feel at peace.
Then I saw a picture of a book recommendation. I was like: “Oh, maybe they’re people who recommend books.” A couple of months after I also ended up recommending a book myself.
N.S.: Can you tell us about the book selection process?
M.M.: The Purple Corner has inquiries – they go first come first serve, or if the book has relevance to important events from that month. That is the gist of the selection.
And of course, it does require to be somehow about gender equality or gender issues.
V.J.: How do you raise awareness for the corner?
M.M.: A lot of people contacted me after the book recommendation. They were like: “Oh, how did you do that? How did you suggest a book? Did they contact you?”
But no, you contact a woman in the office and tell them: “I have this book, I read it, and I want to talk about this.” And I think we can still reach out to more people.
When you suggest a book, they will ask you some questions such as, why do you think this book goes well with the IE community spirit? And then if the book suits the corner, they will accept it and buy the book. It also serves for IE students to have [and read] it, so the marketing [of the book] is done by the library.
N.S.: Who is the target audience of the Purple Corner?
M.M.: I would say: All of us.
I feel like, of course, women are a really big audience because, you know, a lot of women are aware that this topic needs to be talked about more often and also need to empathize with the topic.
You can see that on the website throughout the months there have been a lot of professors [such as Manuel Perez Romero, Chair of the center of Sustainable Cities and an architecture professor, or Victoria Fontana Adjunct Professor and Mindfulness Teacher, as well,] that recommend books.
So of course I feel like women are the bigger percentage of our audience but I want us to try to change that too and encourage guys to send out books as recommendations.
V.J.: What is the latest book from the corner you read and one you recommend?
M.M.: The January recommendation, Le Prix à Payer : ce que le couple hétéro coûte aux femmes by Lucille Quillet.
V.J.: How far do you say the Purple Corner is reaching its potential or the right audience at the moment?
M.M.: I haven’t seen this project grow from the start, […] but, the fact that you’re doing an article and everything, I feel like that’s a big thing because it has reached you guys. So that’s important!
So I think it has been growing, and the more people suggest a book, the bigger it becomes. Because maybe yesterday you are the one who suggests the book, perhaps, and then your friends are going to be like: “Oh, what is this?” And then maybe one of your friends wants to suggest the next book, so it will become bigger and bigger.
So I think that’s nice, and I think it will [continue to] grow.
The Purple Corner is a unique space at IE’s library in Segovia that goes beyond that niche of those that consider themselves already a feminist or a book lovers. The Purple Corner has become an opportunity for comfort, knowledge, and growth.
By simply recommending a book or spreading the word about this corner, you could be making a great change for the people involved and those who would come along the way
This project celebrates its third anniversary and it will only keep growing, and hopefully, this piece will make you want to join them.