The 28th edition of the Minsk International Book Fair kicked off at the exhibition center at 14 Pobeditelei Avenue on 18 February, BelTA learned from the Information Ministry.
This year the fair will work one hour longer: from 10.00 to 20.00 on 18-20 February and from 10.00 to 17.00 on 21 February.
The exhibition will feature 281 exhibitors from 20 countries, including Austria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Germany, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Ukraine.
“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is the reason why the CIS will be the central exhibitor of the fair. In addition to that, Belarus presides over the CIS in 2021,” the ministry said.
A number of countries have been central exhibitors of the fair in different years, including Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Kazakhstan, France, Germany, Venezuela, China, Armenia, Great Britain, Serbia, and the United States of America. Each of these exhibitors showcased their book publishing industry, introduced new formats, made a spectacular presentation of their countries, which invariably attracted numerous visitors to the Minsk book fair. The United States of America, for example, invited visitors to explore their world of books through a roadside cafe. The Russian Federation stunned the audience by the abundance of new books and presentations by famous authors. The Republic of Serbia drew attention to its stand by presenting new books in combination with graffiti.
The year 2021 will be no exception, as it will present new names, new formats, and new projects.
The central exhibitor - the Commonwealth of Independent States - predetermined the concept of Belarus’ stand and the motto of the exhibition, which is ‘Books unite people and countries’. The central exposition will be themed as a common home. The living room of this home will house the CIS stand featuring the editions that won the Grand Prix of the CIS international competition The Art of the Book since its inception 17 years ago. Over this time, Belarusian book publishers have won 164 diplomas in various nominations, including ten Grand Prix diplomas, more than any other participating states, the ministry informed.
The ‘writer’s office’ will feature the CIS best books on history, culture and art. Here visitors will be able to meet with writers. Children's books are invariably the most popular category of books among the exhibition visitors and bookstore buyers. Children will be invited to visit the children’s site where they will be able to see new books, learn how books are created, and take part in a number of interesting activities.
According to the organizers, Belarus’ national stand will be arranged as an impromptu artistic kitchen. It will feature newest projects and all books that were published in Belarus in 2020 (about 8,200 books with a total circulation of more than 21 million copies were published last year). Visitors to the exhibition will have an opportunity to meet with authors, book characters, and immerse themselves in the creative process of creating books. The same site will host Belarus’ first selection of projects for priority publication by state-run publishing houses as part of the literary startup competition LitUP, the organizers informed.
This year, the book fair will also be held online through a Zoom conference featuring the central site of the exhibition, as well as all oblast capitals of Belarus, the central library of Borisov, the CIS countries.
The traditional Writer and Time symposium will discuss the mission of contemporary writers, the responsibility of writers in the face of new challenges of the time, the impact of creativity on the transformation of the value system, the role and place of intelligentsia in today’s world.
Theaters, cinemas, and TV channels will be showing films and plays based on the works of famous writers of Belarus and other countries during the fair.
Visitors will be asked to wear masks and observe the social distancing requirement.
A traditional poetry bus will be running from the Nemiga metro station to the exhibition center at 14 Pobeditelei Avenue. Everyone will be invited to take a free-of-charge ride on it and listen to the works of famous writers. The entry to the fair will also be free.