What if Dracula, Sherlock Homes, Oliver Twist, Julius Caeser and Dorian Gray were women? Dallas indie bookstore The Wild Detectives has turned heroes of classic literature into heroines in the new "Shequel" campaign teeing up the store's Women Galore Festival in May.
Created out of Dieste, the effort features social videos and a website that transforms the male leads of great novels into females. Dracula becomes Draculess, the Invisible Man becomes the Invisible Woman, and so on.
"As we went deeper into classic literature, we saw there's barely a female leading role where she is portrayed as a powerful or strong character," says CCO Ciro Sarmiento. Although let's not forget the powerful women protagonists in the works of Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Charlotte Bronte and others--we do get the point. Sarmiento notes another inspiration was the Bechdel Test, which aims to call attention to gender inequality in fiction by examining whether when two women speak to each other, if it's about something other than a man.
As part of the campaign the agency will be publishing full versions of "Around the World in 80 Days" recast with a female lead. It will hit the shelves of Wild Detectives during the Women Galore Festival. "The plan is to partner with local high schools in the hopes of implementig theadapted version in class assignments," Sarmiento says. "Imagine a young girl or boy reading it for the first time, what impact we could bring to society if we tweaked the past a little bit to change the future."