23rd Book Fair(y) in Istria in Short
A comprehensive and layered programme, as well as its sales and exhibition parts, which attracted the biggest number of visitors in the Fairs’ history, have marked the 23rd Book Fair(y) in Istria. The biggest books and authors festival in Croatia took place from 1st to 10th December 2017. More than 15 thousand titles from about 250 editors (the largest number in the last 10 years) were available to the audience. The Fairs biggest feature is intertwining of the fair and the festival in a story connected by a theme, each year a different one – always contemporary and on the trace of social and cultural events. The 23rd Book Fair(y) was recognized, along with its main theme – Intimacy, for both its regional programme Hercegovina reads and special programme A propos.
Authors who presented their new titles have spoken about their personal diaries: Igor Mandić, Rade Šerbedžija, Zdravko Zima… Intimacy was discussed at the round tables End of Intimacy and Public Intimacy on Social Media. The two accompanying programmes were dedicated to the prematurely deceased Pula artist Predrag Spasojević – a biographical movie on him was shown in Kino Valli during the Fair. The movie is called A Map Filled with Dreams and directed by Danilo Lola Ilić. After the movie’s projection, an exhibition of his erotic drawings and graphics called Citizen P.S.’s Intimacy was opened.
The Hercegovina Reads programme dealt with the contemporary cultural- literary scene in Hercegovina with special attention given to writers and poets from Hercegovina like Almin Kaplan, Marko Tomaš, Elvedin Nezirović… Highlights of this programme were exhibitions of a renowned artist, academic painter and graphic Safet Zec in two galleries: Pula City Gallery and Cvajner. His works depict landscapes of Počitelj and Hercegovina in a unique way.
Zoster, the band from Mostar, which with its name and actions indicates society’s immunity fall, performed during Fair’s musical programme in Rock café.
Actors Goran Bogan and Sergej Tifunović, director Bobo Jelčić, bishop Grigorije and many others participated in the programme.
The A propos programme dealt with French and francophone literature with special emphasis on postcolonial discourse in the theme –France seen through African eyes – and authors coming precisely from this continent or dealing with subjects on Africa in their work. Gauz, Sylvain Prudhomme, Adrien Bosc and two young writers, Kaouther Adimi and Maryam Madjidi, originating from Algiers and Iran respectively, who write in French and haven’t been translated to Croatian, participated in this programme.
The Fair(y) traditionally pays great attention to local programmes: Pula is Full (Puna je Pula) and Istria under the Crust (Istra ispod kore) presented new books by Dora Delbianco, Maroje Mihovilović, Drago Orlić…
The most popular programme, the traditional Breakfast with the Author, was presented by Aljoša Pužar this year, as well.
Since the focus of the sales part of the Fairy were science books, this year’s guest and scientists were all connected to it - such as linguist Stjepan Damjanović and translator Iva Grgić Maroević.
The Breakfast with the Author guests were also: Igor Mandić, László Végel, Rade Šerbedžija, Safet Zec, Christoph Ransmayr, Varužan Vosganjan and bishop Grigorije.
The Hommage programmes part remembered the fair(y)’s great friends and associates who died in 2017 – Dušan Karpatský and Vojo Radoičić.
The children’s programme Librić followed the Fair(y)’s atmosphere. Grandma Librić, i.e. Gordana Trajković, imaginatively interpreted a Goodnight story of her choice every evening. Comic book author, Davor Šunk, already known to the young audience, with his Ham Picnic showed the kids that although reading is a serious matter – it isn’t necessarily boring.
In the programme Collective Dreaming and Rollick, students from the Art Academy in Osijek have been teaching young readers how to find something unusual in everyday things and tasks, how to dream, explore stories and dreams and create new ones.
The 3rd edition of the Pop literature programme was intended for high school students. The guests were: Goran Bogdan, Tanja Mravak, the musician Mario Knezović, Sven Popović and Ružica Aščić.
The new programme, Hop literature, introduced 7th and 8th grade students to comic book authors where they had the opportunity to participate in comic book design. The guests were: Ivan Sršen, Krešimir Biuk, Štef Bartolić, Helena Klakočar, Vibor and Vjeran Juhas.
This year, too, librarians took part in the Pula Fair(y): Jasna Kovačević introduced her book People’s Library – The Centre of Cultural and Social Life, while a round table took place during the programme Book Fair(y) in the Library called The Gathering of the Libraries of the Minorities.
Two prizes were awarded at the Book Fair(y): the Reader’s prize dr. Ivo Borovečki was awarded to Mirjana Žmak as well as the Book for Always (Libar za vajk) audience’s prize to the book It is Strange in My Head by Orhan Pamuk.
The most sold book of the 23rd Book Fair(y) is the Premortal Diary by Igor Mandić, followed by After Rain by Rade Šerbedžija and Goodnight Stories for Young Rebels by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.