The Thessaloniki International Book Fair (TIBF), an institution that has brought radical change in the field of books and has become today a meeting point for all book professionals and fans in Greece, will be held this year from Thursday 11 until Sunday 14 May 2017 in the Thessaloniki International Exhibition & Congress Center TIF-HELEXPO with the participation of over 20 countries and 250 Greek and foreign writers.
In Search of the South
This year’s Book Fair focuses on the European South, an undivided landscape regarding literature, tradition, social structure, politics and the economic perception of today’s world. A landscape of affinities and controversies, of common history and parallel narratives. The TBF aspires to explore identity issues, common literary places and to bring out the urgent need for a dialogue among the countries of the European South in the particularly volatile international environment of our time.
Within the framework of the “In Search of the South”, many renowned writers from the countries of South Europe are expected to visit the city of Thessaloniki. With the decisive participation of the foreign cultural institutes in Greece, such as the French Institute, the Italian Institute and Goethe Institute and the support of the Greek publishers, the TBF will have the honor to welcome this year the following writers: Salim Bachi, Pascal Bruckner, Jaume Cabré, Erri De Luca, Mathias Enard, Santiago Rocangliolo, Zülfü Livaneli and Eshkol Nevo.
The programme of the Thessaloniki Book Fair includes four thematic axes. The work of the great Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis, the hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution, the Refugee Issue and the Cultural Year Greece-China 2017.
“I follow my deep heartbeat...” :On the occasion of the completion of 60 years since the death of Nikos Kazantzakis, the TBF honours the memory of our great writer with a series of events, readings and discussions. The work of Nikos Kazantzakis is still being read and translated and it inspires readers throughout the world.
“From a northern October and hither”: Discussions, exhibitions and events for the completion of 100 years since the Revolution of 1917 that shocked the world and for the wider Greek and international historic environment of that time as well as for the revolution as a more general phenomenon of a quest for the social change in History.
Sharing books – Sharing homelands: The Refugee Issue: The TBF in collaboration with the “Network for Children’s Rights” has planned a series of actions, experiential workshops and book presentations for children and adults, focusing on the life, the voice, the needs and the contribution of refugees to our country. The books give us the opportunity to share the language and the hope – and along with them everything we love and long for.
Encounters on the Silk Roads: The TBF takes part in the common actions and the festive events for the Cultural Year Greece-China 2017 by using the book as a bridge that connects two ancient civilizations. The events that will take place during the Book Fair are aimed at promoting the similarities of the past and the need for strengthening the cultural relations between the two countries through cooperation and exchange.
3rd Young Writers Festival: A two-day festival organized for the fourth consecutive year and connecting the public with the dynamic new generation of Greek writers. The diverse expressions of the poetic, the novel, the short story and their hybrids are presented and promoted through a series of discussions, interviews and readings with the writers themselves and other men and women of letters.
Literature and Translation Festival: The Translation Festival takes place for the second consecutive year and addresses professionals and the public. The programme includes discussions and book presentations corresponding to the basic thematic axes of the Book Fair as well as to the concerns and issues that translators of our time face. The Festival is organized in cooperation with universities and translators’ associations.
Parallel cultural events: TBF gives special importance to inviting renowned Greek and foreign writers, to the active participation of all book professionals as well as to synergies with the city’s cultural organizations and bodies, which contribute creatively to a great celebration of culture, with the book as the main focus: theatre performances, film screenings, music, artistic events etc complete the cultural programme with parallel events in the whole city opening a dialogue between the book and the other arts.
Children’s Corner Program
This year’s programme of the favourite corner of children, teenagers and educators includes almost 100 events, such as book presentations, experiential workshops, speeches and discussions around issues concerning parents and children with the participation of writers, illustrators, animators, artists and pedagogues.
Within the framework of the main thematic tribute entitled “In Search of the South”, at the Children’s Corner there will be agroup illustrators’ exhibition entitled “Suns” (“Ilioi”) with 46 illustrators participating. Young and adult visitors will have the chance to enjoy the same theme through the different and unique angle of every artist.
The History of TIBF
The Thessaloniki Book Fair was first held in May 2004 setting a new goal: including Greece on the map of international book fairs, creating a new meeting point for cultural and commercial exchanges in the field of international publishing.
TBF is the only international book fair held in Greece and constitutes a cultural crossroad between Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Middle East. It is held every May at HELEXPO conference centre in Thessaloniki and is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, HELEXPO, the Greek Publishers, the City of Thessaloniki, under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
Each year it attracts more than 400 book professionals from Greece and abroad, while around 200 cultural events are held, with Greek and foreign authors, academics and intellectuals. More than 65.000 people visit the Fair each year.
The TBF after thirteen years of existence has been established as one of the most important cultural institutions in the country receiving international recognition, while it has been a member of the “International Book Fairs’ Club” since 2006 and participates in professional meetings organized by the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Read more: Reading Greece - a series of interviews featuring a new generation of Greek writers and other stakeholders of the Greek book market.