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70th Frankfurt Book Fair

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09th-Nov-2018       
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Nazmun Nesa Peari from Berlin, Germany :
The 70th Frankfurt Book Fair from October 10 to 14 was attended by 2, 85,000 visitors from all over the world.  A little increase in attendance at the world’s largest trade show for the books industry. Georgia was the country of honor this year. The alphabet of their language is special. Thirty-three letters of the artistic alphabet are included UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. This has impressed the visitors of the book fair.
On October 9, in the evening the festival was opened by the Prime Minster of Georgia Mamuka Bachtadse. In his speech, he underlined the strength of European influences on his country despite its proximity to Asia. In fact, the country on the entrance between Europe and Asia did not just present its script but also the fascinating writers, painters, musicians and the people of the country.
Speeches were given by Director of Frankfurt Book Fair, Chairman of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, Mayor of the city of Frankfurt, Prime minister of Hesse state, and special guest high representative of the Union for foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Union Commission Federica Mogherini stressed the diversity of Europe and its inhabitants.
In a very moving, personal speech she confessed: “There has not been a single day of my life when I was not reading a book. The books we read and write tell who we are --- our culture, dreams, fears, our history, language, food, music, cities, rivers, mountains, and seas, the one that divides us, the ones we share.”
In her speech, she reminded the audience that the book fair was as old as printed books are over five centuries. Yet the book fair was reborn in 1949 after World War-II, when the idea of a united Europe was created that has led to the European Union of today "the most successful regional integration project in History." In fact, the history of this book fair is 500 years old. In 1454, soon after Johannes Gutenberg had developed printing in movable letters in Mainz near Frankfurt the first book-fair was held by local book sellers. After World War-II, the first modern book fair was held again in 1949 at the St Paul's Church.
Jürgen Boos, Director of the fair, said in the opening ceremony: “As the most international event of its kind Frankfurt Buchmesse (Frankfurt Book fair) is the ideal place to discuss topics affecting the global community.”
In his speech, Heinrich Riethmüller, the Head of the German Publisher and Booksellers Association, observed that the branch desperately needed to grapple anew with human rights and that it also needed to find ways to win back lost readers. This year is the 70th anniversary of human rights declaration of UN. This occasion was marked by some programmes of the fair and book publishers and sellers association.
The Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, famous for her book Americanah, in the opening press conference called for more gender diversity in the book industry, both as authors and as characters in books. “We know from studies that women read books by men and women. But men read books by men. It is time for men to read women.”
The book fair started on October 10. German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier opened the Frankfurt pavillion --- this is a new iconic event at this book fair. The event had the title - ‘How to defend Freedom in Turbulent times.’ He spoke with this year’s winner of the literature award of Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Croatian writer Evona Sajko and Belgian writer Stefaon Hertmons who got the Flemish State Prize for narrative Prose. Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurt Book Fair, discussed about Georgia’s literature, life in post-Soviet Georgia and anarchic novel forms with one of Georgia’s most famous authors Ako Marchiladze, the literary opening speaker of this year’s book fair.
On the evening of the opening day, there was The Poetry Project -- To Europe alone. The conversation was between a German and a refugee youth. This project builds on multilingual youth writing groups from all over Germany working in four languages as Persian, Arabic, German and English.
This project got the prize for poetry, the Else-Lasker-Schüler Lyrikprice 2018.
During Georgia’s year as guest of Honour, more than one hundred and fifty new titles about Georgia were published in the German-language book market. Seventy German Language publishers have titles about Georgia in the current catalogue. Two hundred Georgian titles in translation have been released in the German language book market since the creation of the translation funding programme in 2010 and in participation of Georgia s appearance as Guest of Honour this year.
This year was the 70th anniversary of the declaration of United Nations (UN) of Human Rights and at the same time Frankfurt Book Fair took place for the 70th time.
To mark the occasion together the German Television Arte, ZDF and Der Spiegel Magazine, Frankfurt Book Fair and German Publishers and Booksellers Association with support from United Nations and Amnesty International had come together for a campaign ‘On the same page.’ They had some events during the Fair.
There were also 32nd Frankfurt Rights Meeting. Speaker offered exclusive insights into current topics and trends.
Here decision makers in the field of rights and licenses met together.
Emerging regions at the fair include above all USA, Canada, Africa and South East Asia. For the first time since years Cuba was represented by a collective stand.
Since 2015 Bangladesh is participating with a big collective stand, This year also like the previous years there were a collective stand of Academic and creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh (ACPMB).
Beside there was a stand of Bangladesh Book Publishers and sellers Association and a stand of Omnicom publisher. Bangladesh Cultural Affairs Minister Assaduzzaman Noor MP sent his message to the Frankfurt Book Fair by saying, “The importance of reading is gaining now insights or perspective s on issues that matter to the readers to have a new understanding of the world around them. I came to know that the 70th Frankfurt Book Fair offers ample opportunities for exhibitors from the Asian markets which encourage it to represent Bangladesh delegation comprising our creative publishers, writers and artists.”
A group of publishers with president of ACPAB publisher Farid Ahmed were busy during the fair attending different seminars and making business contacts. Bangladesh’s stand was opened on October 10 by the Ambassador Imteaz Ahmed and the publishers on the opening day of the Frankfurt book Fair. There were some stands from Indian Publishers from Delhi and Ananda publishers from Kolkata also represented by publisher Uzzal Sinha.

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