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In the year of the Slovenian hosting, the Frankfurt Book Fair celebrates three quarters of a century



“Embedded in the history of German democracy”

This year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, which will take place between October 18 and 22, will be the 75th in a row. As is well known, Slovenia will be the guest of honor at this year’s fair.

The anniversary will be marked with a series of events: among others, the city of Frankfurt, the German Booksellers Association and the FKS are planning a special joint event during Freedom of Speech Week (May 3-10).

In Frankfurt, they emphasize that the 75th anniversary of the FKS also means the 75th anniversary of great stories, valuable meetings, the socio-political stage and the appearance of many famous personalities from the world of culture and media.

The beginnings were not too modestThe Frankfurt Book Fair was held for the first time in years 1949. At that time, around 200 publishers gathered in St. Paul’s Church. As early as 1953, FKS was visited by more international than domestic exhibitors, which brought international connections more and more to the fore. Now, every year the most important meeting of the publishing industry in the world gathers authors, publishers, copyright and licensing dealers and high-ranking guests from culture, politics and business from more than a hundred countries.

In the following decades, the fair then developed into the most important global platform for publishers and the book trade industry and established itself as the largest international book fair. Today, the history of the FKS is already inseparably embedded in the history of the city of Frankfurt am Main and German democracy, they wrote in the press release.

A site of ideasA look at the extensive chronicle of the fair, which was published on the FKS website on the occasion of this year’s jubilee year, shows that the FKS was involved in important economic, political and cultural events from the very beginning. It was conceived as a place for intellectual and intercultural exchange and has established itself as such until today. At the fair, many politicians, cultural figures and authors share their views on current cultural and political issues and the world, impressing the audience and opening up new perspectives.

In the polarizing times of international upheavals, this year’s fair intends to offer a space for understanding and dialogue and to send important literary and socio-political messages to the world.

Even after the recent crisis years due to the covid-19 pandemic, FKS continues to bring to the fore the big issues of the present, such as war in Europe, climate change, structural racism, freedom of speech, human rights, women’s and children’s rights, diversity and digital transformation.

How to single out each bee in the “honeycomb”?Slovenia will present itself as the guest of honor at this year’s FKS with a central motto Honeycombs of words. The focus should be on Slovenian authors who are already well known abroad, such as Slavoj Žižek. So far, German publishing houses have been most attracted to Slovenian authors of novels, such as Dear Jančar.

One of the most difficult tasks at the fair will be to ensure the visibility of books by Slovenian authors in foreign languages, since most of them are published by less influential publishing houses. It will also be important that globally interesting topics find their place in the content of the Slovenian books presented at the fair and the performances of Slovenian authors. One of the central topics of Slovenia, as guests of honor, is supposed to be the role of book reading in the age of screens.

Source: Rtvslo

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