The annual Eurasia Book Fair kicked off in Kazakhstan yesterday, just one among countless book fairs happening around the globe this week, many far bigger, so no surprise it isn’t making any headlines.
With just 28,000 visitors expected this isn’t one of the biggest book fairs on the planet – literally millions of people are attending book fairs around the world this week – but it is important for its role in bringing together publishing in the Eurasian region.
This year’s event is almost twice the size of last year’s, in terms of publisher participation (for visitor number we’ll have to wait for the final count after the event ends on April 28).
Unsurprisingly the CIS states of Russia, Tajikistan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, etc, are all present, and there is representation from the UK, Poland, India, Turkey and China (155 publishers in all from 18 countries).
Kazakhstan Secretary of State Gulshara Abdykalikova opened the Eurasian Book Fair 2018 in Astana yesterday, saying,
In the age of globalization and digital technologies the book still remains the leading source of new knowledge. It is the great tool for perceiving all and everything.
The book plays a special role, especially in the light of the country’s political, economic and spiritual reforms for it is a universal key to information.
The reading nation is the intellectual nation.
The event, in its 20th incarnation, is organized by the Foliant Publishing House, based in Astana, and claims to be the largest publishing event in Eurasia.
Kazakstan’s Inform reports that,
A Poetry Slam, a non-formal artistic competition for young poets, will take place for the first time as part of the fair. The youngest participants will also enjoy master classes “How to write a book?” by well-known Kazakhstani writer Liliya Klaus and Russian writer, script writer and playwright Yevgeniya Dekina. Another highlight is a contest of art designers and special events for illustrators.
There’s little further information about the event right now, but Inform says,
It is expected to be a grandiose book feast.
And who could argue with that?