22nd Book Fair(y) in Istria
This year again, from 1 to 11 December, Pula will be hosting Book Fair(y) in Istria, a Croatian book fair that has been held for over 20 years in the largest city of the westernmost county of Croatia.
Through Transatlantic, the programme’s central theme, the fair will try to bring together two continents, Europe and South America, by spotlighting contemporary Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian literature. A wide range of activities scheduled to take place under this theme will also provide opportunities for many Croatian and international writers, scholars and culture specialists to present their latest works and take part in debates focusing on this theme.
Ljubljana Reads, the fair’s second thematic programme, will also be regionally oriented and present the arts and culture scene of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Some dozen Ljubljana writers and artists will be part of a dynamic multimedia programme, which will present Ljubljana as the flourishing centre of publishing, literary, scientific, visual arts, musical and, last but not least, gastronomical activity.
The fair traditionally kicks off with its Day Zero. This year scheduled for 30 November, its programme is regularly dedicated to the representatives of the library profession who take part in various lectures and presentations organised as a part of it. Croatian librarians are this year joined by their Slovenian colleagues in a programme that the fair’s organisers have prepared in collaboration with the Pula City Library and Pula University Library and Ljubljana City Library.
The grand opening of the 22nd Book Fair(y) in Istria is scheduled to take place on 1 December 2016 and the opening programme, which will start at 12.00, will feature Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa and Syrian poet Adonis. Adonis, who has been nominated for the Nobel Prize on several occasions, will also take part in the Breakfast with the Author programme, as well as in the latest fair’s special programme entitled Eastern Question, as part of which Adonis will present A Mirror for A Dream, a poem selected from his 1968 poetry collection Stage and Mirrors. Kurdish activist and poet Bejan Matur and Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish will also be presented as part of the Eastern Question programme.
The fair’s Fair(y) Mornings programme will be dedicated to the attempt to bring secondary school students closer to contemporary writers. In line with its tendency to present other books-and-literature oriented cultural manifestations, the fair’s programme will this year host LitLink, an international literary festival organised by the Croatian Writers Society. The most prominent works of children’s literature will be presented as part of the so-called Monte Booksy programme, and a special music-and-entertainment programme will be prepared for small readers on 6 December, St. Nicholas’ Day.
The fair’s closing ceremony on 11 December will include two award ceremonies – the presentation of Dr. Ivo Borovečki Reader Award along with the Book for Ever (Libar za vajk) award.
The fair is sponsored by the Croatian Ministry of Culture, County of Istria and City of Pula, with Zagrebačka banka bank acting as the main sponsor and Pula Tourist Board and County of Istria Tourist Board being the fair’s donors. Other companies and institutions that have provided financial resources for this year’s fair include the Arenaturist tourist company, Archaeological Museum of Istria, Croatian P.E.N Centre, Pula Film Festival and Hrvatski telekom telecommunications company.
Unique and relevant in many ways, this fair also stands out as an extraordinary event that successfully manages to intertwine all of its activities into a story conveying vital messages, which are aired as part of its themes, always intriguing and in strong correlation with the latest social and cultural global developments.