Valentubers: Valencian as the language of creation on YouTube
We talked to Sergi Pau, part of the digital magazine Valentubers, a key initiative to promote and bring together the Valencian-speaking community on YouTube.
How was Valentubers born?
It was born two years ago as the final paper of the fourth-year course at the University of Valencia, “magazines and revues”, which was drafted by journalism student Rosella Espinós. The final project of this subject was to create a magazine. At the time, Rosella, who had a YouTube channel called “No hi havia a València” (There was none in Valencia), saw that there were many people creating content, but there was no community as such where you could broadcast what Valentubers produce. Thus, this digital magazine was created as a university project, and its professor, journalist Salvador Enguix from La Vanguardia, suggested that she take the proposal a little further. And that is where it all came from.
Afterwards, you and Sergi Moyano joined …
We started talking to Rosella in March 2018. She wanted us to join her. She had to finish her degree and graduation work and could not do everything. More and more channels were emerging, which meant that we had to write more in the publication, manage social media and act as agents with Valentubers. By the time we were more firmly on board, it was already September/October 2018.
What kind of content do you create?
We were born as a magazine dedicated to summarising in our own way videos by Valencian YouTubers to promote YouTube channels that create content in Valencian. It is true that we have redesigned the website contents half a year ago. Before, we had the sections “Al dia” (Updates), dedicated to these summaries, and the one on features, where we delve deeper. A few months ago, we added two more sections that I and Sergi Moyano have been working on, respectively. One is called “A la punta de la llengua” (On the tip of the tongue), where we do more sociolinguistic features once a month, and “#XarremenPau” (Talking with Pau), which is an audiovisual section on the channel “No hi havia a València”. In this section, we choose an event a month we believe does not get the visibility it should and we interview people to talk about that day.
But you also play a role in keeping the community of Valencian-speaking YouTubers together.
We have a Telegram channel with all Valentubers. And when someone tells us that they want to be part of the community, we refer them to our rules: the channel must be at least three months old, a commitment to regular content production and most of the videos must be in Valencian, since we have met some people who have switched to Spanish, and now we cannot tell them that they are no longer part of the community. We are 55 or 56 people on the Telegram channel, and it works like a family group: proposals are submitted, things are uploaded, and we take this into account for future posts. Or we provide ideas to those who say they will do something, joint videos are suggested … We act as agents, but being in the group also allows us to know what the community is doing.
How do you get funds?
In the beginning, we were contacted by the Plataforma per la Llengua del País Valencià (Platform for the Language of Valencia) and also by an association called ACICOM. We process grants from the Generalitat (Regional Government of Catalonia) through them, grants such as those for the “Sempre teua” (Always yours) campaign to promote Valencian. We are very young and do not know how this world of grants works, hence those who work in this area on a daily basis are advising us. Plataforma per la Llengua (Platform for the Language) also helped us to change the website by funding the restructuring with Estudi Grafema. Having your own domain and a registered trademark has proven to be a milestone.
There are people belonging to Valentubers who are also part of Canal Malaia …
We found out about the creation of Malaia, because they tweeted it. When we shared it, many people asked us if we wanted to set up another platform, and we said no, that it was something that had arisen in Catalonia and that, in any case, we would be in touch. I myself contacted Arnau Rius, and since then a synergy has been established between both initiatives. From the outset, we wanted to make it clear that they were two complementary initiatives.
As an expert of the Valencian YouTuber world, do you miss anything?
I think that at Valentubers we have pretty much everything, but it is true that we lack YouTubers who do sports tutorials or anything else that would have been very successful during lockdown. But, other than that, we have it all. The contents that are gaining momentum are those of teachers who teach Valencian through YouTube.