The Book Fair returns to its city of origin and Thessaloniki becomes an International Book Capital again. The Hellenic Foundation for Culture is already preparing the 18th Thessaloniki Book Fair (TBF) which will take place from 25 to 28 November 2021 at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition and Conference Center (TIF-HELEXPO).
The coordinating committee of the project, as appointed by the President and the Board of the HFC,is: Dimitris Aggelis (author) the head of the committee, Stefanos Kavallierakis (Dr. of History, Director of the Museum of the City of Athens), Dimitris Kokoris (Associate Professor, AUTh), Lamprini Kouzeli (journalist), Nikolas Sevastakis (Professor, AUTh), Makis Tsitas (author).
German-language literature will be the Guest of Honour at the 18th TBF since, due to the exceptional circumstances of last year, it was not possible to have a complete programme of events. There will be authors invited from German-speaking countries, as well as book professionals and withthe main goal being the dialogue, networking and exchange of ideas, the programme “Let’s talk!” is co-organizedby Goethe-Institut Greece, Litrix.de and the Frankfurt Book Fair with the support and funding of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The central theme of the 18th TBF is The Ongoing Revolutions of Books. The title manages to combinethe main celebration of this year (the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution) and at the same time,all the changes that took place during the quarantine period in terms of our perception of books and literary events (the technologies of tomorrow). Already since last year, there have been more publications that re-examine the historical aspects of the Greek Revolution, focusing on the illumination of more protagonists, events, international correlations and broader perspectives; the purpose of the Book Fair is to offer the space and time for events on these important themes. At the same time, audiobooks, podcasts and online festivals have become widely popular during this period.Therefore, a broader discussion of new technologies and new trends in the field of books is considered absolutely necessary both for book professionals and readers alike. Certainly, the positive evaluation of last year’s online TBF and the valuable experience gained during this difficult period haveprompted this discussion.
Additionally, the 18th TBF will focus on the following themes:
Who needs Classical Studies today?
The debate on classical studies is open. It has been on the news due to the recent decision of Princeton University to remove the knowledge of Ancient Greek and Latin as a prerequisite for the inclusion of students in the field of classical studies;in this context, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture considers it highlysignificantto hold eventsand interventions that will focus on this extremely important issue. According to Nuccio Ordine, the “useful and useless” humanities studies are under pressure around the world, due to the use of new technologies and practical sciences which favour immediate profit; however, their importance in cultivating humanistic values and people internally is undeniable. It is a first-class opportunity for Greece to emerge as a world-renowned workshop for the study and promotion of classical letters.The 18th TBF will become an excellentcatalyst for a broader dialogue on the subject of Classical Studies.
Freedoms, collective protection and responsibility: new dilemmas
The quarantine period with itscurfews for the protection of society as a whole and the debate on freedoms and individual responsibility; issues of sexual harassment and the relevantrequests for dignity and overcoming fear (The “metoo” movement); the social media, the public debate and its disorganization. These are all themes that will play a prominent role in the political discussions and book presentations of this year’s TBF.
Children’s and Teenagers’ Corner
Every year, events for children, teenagers and teachers becomesome of the most dynamic attractions of TBF. With their main priority being -from the first years- the cultivation of the love of books in children, teenagers and teachers, the Thessaloniki Book Fair organizes multiple events which include presentations of both the current book production and key issues related to the social and school life of all thoseinvolved in the field of Education; parents and of course, childrenand teenagersare participating too. This year, the Children’s and Teenagers’ Corner will be enriched with a student conference; public discussions among students and people from the fields of Arts and Literature will also be held.
Festivals, events and activities
The TBF will also host its usual program of events that includes the New Writers Festival, the Translation Festival, the Librarians’ meeting as well as presentations of new publications, discussions with authors, thematic exhibitions and screenings.
Events for Professionals / meetings
A series of events and meetings is also planned for book professionals with several international participation where the theme “The future of books”, will be discussed along with issues that concern the international market in the new digital reality, as it was formeddue to the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, the Hellenic Cultural Foundation will honor the Thessaloniki writers MatsiChatzilazarou (1914-1987) and AnestisEvangelou (1937-1994), while a discussion on the literature of Thessaloniki will also be organized.
The 18th I.T.B.F. is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in collaboration with the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) – HELEXPO, the Region of Central Macedonia, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Associations of Greek Publishers as well as independent publishers, with the support and cooperation of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, in the framework of the ROP of Central Macedonia 2014-2020.Aegean Airlines will be the air transport sponsor of the 18th TBF.