MINSK, 6 February (BelTA) - About 400 events will be held as part of the 26th Minsk International Book Fair, Elena Pavlova, the head of publishing and printing at the Information Ministry of Belarus, told BelTA.
The Minsk International Book Fair, the country's largest book event, opens on 6 February. Its main venue is the exposition complex at 14 Pobediteley Avenue. For five days, writers, publishers, and distributors from all over the world will present new editions and take stock of the book publishing trends in the past year, discuss the problems of the book industry and share best practices.
“The Minsk International Book Fair will feature 439 exhibitors, of which 162 are from abroad. National stands will be presented by Russia, Turkey, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Italy, the Czech Republic, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. This year's newcomers are Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Israel, Poland, China and Greece. Authors from many other countries will participate in the writers' symposium. All in all, 35 countries will be represented at the Minsk book fair,” Elena Pavlova said.
Belarus' national stand will host meetings with writers, presentations, themed quests, film screenings, theatrical performances, master classes and interactive readings. Every day will be special. “First of all I would like to highlight an interesting exposition “Places Dear to the Heart” as part of Vladimir Likhodedov's project “In the Search of the Lost” which showcases the postcards and photos of the late 19th - early 20th centuries, books and other rare exhibits dedicated to the Year of Native Land, and also the exhibitions dedicated to Belarus' natives Adam Mickiewicz and Jan Bulhak.
The National Library will present an exposition “Belarusian Primer: Four Centuries of History”. A traveling exhibition will feature books by writers from the CIS member states. “Our stand will display the books - winners of the national and international contests Art of the Book, printed products, and the exhibitions dedicated to the Year of Native Land and the 2nd European Games. Apart from that, visitors will be able to see the original edition of The Little Travel Book by Francysk Skaryna published in 1522 and a 16th century printing press,” she added.
The Writer and Time international literary symposium will bring together authors from some 50 countries. They will discuss humanitarian cooperation as a driving force for national cultures and literary translation in multicultural projects. The participants of the symposium will attend literature and art events “Native Land of Me and You” and “Yanka Kupala and Walt Whitman. The Song About the Road of Freedom”, a presentation “Anthology of Modern Azerbaijani Literature. Poetry” and the Belarus-Kazakhstan forum “Literary dialogue in space and time”. They will also travel to the town of Berezino to unveil a commemorative plaque to Kalmyk poet, novelist, playwright, and member of the Belarusian partisan movement Mikhail Khoninov.
Winners of the Art of Book national contest will be awarded in the Palace of Art on 8 February. A total of 158 editions by 40 publishing houses were submitted to the contest. Fewer than half of them were shortlisted to proceed to the next stage. “Our professional jury includes Deputy Information Minister Igor Buzovsky, Director of the National Library of Belarus Roman Motulsky, Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Artists Rygor Sitnitsa, Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Designers Dmitry Sursky, Director of the Kavaler publishing house Konstantin Khotyanovsky, First Deputy Chair of the Belarusian Union of Writers Yelena Stelmakh, member of the Belarusian Union of Designers Valery Rogalevich. The jury is led by Rector of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts Mikhail Borozna. They will choose the Grand Prix winner and winners in several categories. Awards in the Excellence category will be presented to the best illustrator, best photographer and best designer,” Elena Pavlova informed.
During the Minsk International Book Fair, the Belkniga book retail network will announce its best bookstore. The winner of the contest “Writing a book together. Belarus as we see it in 10 years” will be announced. The Information Ministry and the Education Ministry invited school and university students to write 10 sentences about their vision of Belarus in the future. “We did not expect that the competition will be so popular. We are still receiving applications in large numbers. It will be incredibly difficult to choose the winner. Young people, both schoolchildren and students, see Belarus as a peaceful, calm, sporting and healthy country in the future,” the head of the department said.
The forum will also include music and poetry performances, including from actor, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer Alexander Kaletsky from the United States, Italian writer and singer-songwriter Domenico Locasciulli, artists from Kazakhstan Karina Sarsenova, Meruyert Musrali, Miras Kinyarov, the ethno-trio Tengri, rock singer Asem, Anton Mitnev. The soiree of poetess and bard Veronika Dolina will be held by Russian writer Mikhail Volodin on the main stage of the Russian stand. Russia is the central exhibitor of the book fair this year. The country's stand will occupy 200 square meters and will feature an eventful program with the participation of popular poets and writers.
The program for children will showcase a variety of literature for children and their parents. For example, the publishing house Belarusian Encyclopedia named after Petrus Brovka will present Light up! Junior Eurovision books, a joint project with Belteleradiocompany. The Pachatkovaya Shkola publishing house has released a number of books for preschoolers Learning with Topa. The World Around Us series by Mikhas Pozdnyakov will be presented to the public by the publishing house Narodnaya Asveta.
“Last year the Belarusian publishing houses and organizations issued 9,665 titles of books and brochures with a total circulation of 25.6 million copies. Compared to the previous year, the number of issued publications and the total circulation increased by 0.8% and 10.8% respectively,” said Elena Pavlova.
This year events of the Minsk International Book Fair will be held in bookstores, libraries and museums. Literary excursions, poetic routes and themed workshops will be organized as part of the forum. The Palace of Art is currently hosting an exhibition of book illustrations by Belarusian artists. An exhibition of ex-libris will be held at the National History Museum.
The 26th Minsk International Book Fair will be held under the slogan "More Than Books" from 6 to 10 February. Some 60,000 people are expected to visit the fair. The organizers of the Minsk International Book Fair are the Information Ministry, the Minsk City Hall and the Belarusian Union of Writers. Co-organizers are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Education Ministry, the Culture Ministry, Belkniga and Makbel book selling companies.More about Society