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Krakow UNESCO City of Literature, pic. Tomasz Wiech
27 January
2015

Krakow and Wrocław – guests of honour of the Book Fair in Paris

One of the biggest presentations of Polish literature abroad in 15 years! On March 19-23 at the Salon du livre de Paris, the oldest and largest exposition event in the francophone world, Krakow and Wrocław, together with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Book Institute, will accentuate their literary and cultural identity. The Book Fair in Paris combines the promotion of reading on a large scale with industry events. Every year, the fair is visited by 200,000 readers. Over 1200 publishers present their offer, there are about 500 meetings with authors with the participation of representatives of 50 countries. Salon du Livre is one of the largest book fairs in Europe.

The presentation of Polish culture abroad is one of the most important tasks of the Ministry headed by me, which is why the Ministry of Culture is pleased to support initiatives that promote our literature. One of these events is certainly the presence of Krakow and Wrocław as special guests at the Book Fair in Paris. It is a great joy for me, as participation in the largest French-speaking book fair is a great opportunity not only to present the literary heritage of both cities, but also to present the work of contemporary Polish authors to readers in France, Canada and the countries of North Africa.

I hope that the wide offer of the Polish stand will encourage the guests of the Paris fair to learn more about our culture, especially that they will have the opportunity to meet its most popular and respected representatives. I am convinced that our proposals will reach a wide audience – lovers of prose, poetry, reportage, history and film. For many years Polish culture has enjoyed high esteem worldwide, becoming our best brand – said the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, prof. Małgorzata Omilanowska.

At the Krakow and Wrocław stand at the Paris Book Fair, readers will be able to meet artists representing the most important contemporary Polish culture. These include: Joanna Bator, Marek Bieńczyk, Iwona Chmielewska, Norman Davies, Artur Domosławski, Ludwik Flaszen, Urszula Kozioł, Marek Krajewski, Ryszard Krynicki, Ewa Lipska, Zygmunt Miłoszewski, Joanna Olech, Roman Polański, Grzegorz Rosiński, Tomasz Różycki, Marzena Sowa, Mariusz Szczygieł, Wojciech Tochman, Olga Tokarczuk, Agata Tuszyńska and Krzysztof Varga. The list will be complemented by outstanding Polish and European humanists.

I am glad that Wrocław and Krakow will have the opportunity to present the outstanding achievements of contemporary Polish writers at the International Book Fair in Paris. The presence of Wrocław in Paris is a significant distinction, especially in the context of the forthcoming year 2016, in which Wrocław will become the European Capital of Culture and theUNESCO World Book Capital. Cooperation between Wrocław and Krakow guarantees that Polish culture will be presented at the highest level – says the Mayor of Wrocław, Rafał Dutkiewicz.

Information on the trade fairs will reach about 1900 foreign journalists, and tanks to them millions of readers around the world. The value of the media campaign of the fairs is 20 million euros.

Participation of Krakow and Wrocław in such a significant event is not only a great prestige and a huge promotion of both cities, especially in the context of the UNESCO City of Literature title obtained by Krakow in 2013 and the title of the European Capital of Culture bestowed to Wrocław in 2016. Our presence at the Book Fair in Paris is also an opportunity to strengthen the exchange on the book market and to activate publishing and translation activities – says the Mayor of the City of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski.

Every spring the Paris Book Fair, operating since 1981, attracts 200,000 visitors who in great numbers visit the exhibition center – Paris Expo Porte de Versailles – located on an area of 55 thousand square meters. Fair guests included, among others, Umberto Eco, Paul Auster, Doris Lessing, Carlos Fuentes, Allen Ginsberg, Herta Müller, José Saramago and Salman Rushdie. Every year, since 1988, one country is invited to the Fair as a guest of honor – in 2015 it will be Brazil, and since 2011 the invitation also includes cities from all over the world, which present the work of the most interesting and influential authors on a special stand. The capitals of Dolny Śląsk and Malopolska will join Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Moscow and Shanghai, which were presented at the Paris Fair in previous years.

Krakow and Wrocław, in cooperation with the Book Institute, prepared a rich and varied program for the Fair. Cultural landscapes of both cities make up a rich literary panorama of Polish identity, built in the spirit of intercultural dialogue at the crossroads between East and West, between history and modernity. Prominent writers, treasures of world literature and discussions of critical issues affecting the humanities – in the intellectual ferment of creative and innovative cities of literature there is something for everyone. The program will also feature meetings on children’s literature and comics.

The Polish stand, which will occupy an area of 200 square meters, will also present selected publishers. There will be business meetings, also those intended for librarians.

We are glad that together with Wrocław and Krakow we can prepare a presentation of the literary and cultural achievements of both cities for the Paris fair. The main objective of the foreign activities of the Book Institute is to promote Polish literature in the world, therefore, we are greatly satisfied that we can present the latest works of Polish authors on such a prestigious event that affects the entire francophone book market. We hope that this presentation will stimulate interest from publishers and increase the number of translations – says Grzegorz Gauden, Director of the Book Institute.

Organizers of the Polish presentation:

The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
The Book Institute
The Office of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016
Krakow Festival Office

Organizers:

Syndicat National de L’Édition
Reed Expositions