The International Belgrade Book Fair will be opened on October 21st by the writer and publisher Vladislav Bajac. The event will last until October 29th and, as announced today by the organizers, will feature more than 400 direct and nearly as many indirect exhibitors from both domestic and international locations.
Project Coordinator Ljiljana Šoškić said at a press conference that the 66th Book Fair, with the slogan “Long Live Books,” will offer approximately 500 programs for visitors in Halls 1, 2, and 4. October 26th will be a School Day, and at that time, awards for the best publishers will be presented.
The President of the Book Fair Committee, academician Dušan Kovačević, emphasized that the fair is one of the most significant cultural events for him. He pointed out that “in these challenging times around 200,000 people come to buy or explore the latest titles.”
“This is something that restores hope that man is wiser than the times he lives in. I’m referring to the fact that this year’s fair will have a healing dimension. In a world filled with terrible reports that arrive daily, books serve as medicine,” Kovačević said.
He noted that France, as the guest of honour, is bringing its representative authors to the fair.
“I used to come to the fair in the company of Borislav Pekić, Borislav Mihailović Mihiz and Danilo Kiš. Now at the fair, I walk along the streets named after them, and it’s a personal feeling that isn’t very pleasant. ‘We live as long as books exist” said Mr. Kovačević.
Stanislas Pjere, Cultural Advisor to the French Embassy and Director of the French Institute, repeated that it was a privilege for France to be the guest of honour of the Book Fair and mentioned that France would have a “rich and beautiful” program at its stand with about 50 events.
As announced, at the opening of the Fair, in the name of France, the writer Mathias Énard will greet the participants. The Fair will also be attended by Thomas Piketty, Pierre Assouline, Juliette Kahane, Catherine Kees, Christelle Petikolain, Eric Emmanuel Schmitt and others.
Among other things, Mr. Pierre highlighted that at the French stand, there will be daily events for children, students and scholars while on School Day, October 26th, the 80th anniversary of the release of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book “The Little Prince” will be celebrated. On the same day, the author of the manga strip “Radiant,” Tony Valente, will also arrive.
The City Secretary for Culture, Nataša Mihajlović Vacić, has reminded that the Book Fair is the most significant cultural event in Belgrade. She also highlighted the importance of French literature and art, expressing confidence that France, as the guest of honour, will serve as an inspiration and remind us of “the richness of words and their ability to shape the world around us.”
The Artistic Director of the Book Fair, Sanja Milić, pointed out that the fair will also host writers such as João Tordo from Portugal, Kate Moss and Simon Sebag Montefiore from Great Britain.
Individual tickets will cost 350 dinars, while group tickets (for organized visits with more than 20 people) will be 250 dinars per person.