The 16th Literature in Athens (LEA) Festival starts on Monday

The 16th Literature in Athens (LEA) Festival starts on Monday

The 16th LEA (Literature in Athens) Festival starts next week, aiming to form cultural and literary bridges between Latin America, Spain, Greece and Portugal through words and letters.

Organized under the auspices of the Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the 16th edition of the LEA Festival will take place from June 17 to 28 in Athens, from June 20 to 21 in Chalkis, from June 21 to 22 in Lefkada and will be present at the Chania Book Festival in Crete from June 27 to 30.

More than 23 guests from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico and Uruguay have been invited to this festival, including around 30 guests from Greece. It will be a captivating experience of vast literary talent and an introduction to Iberian and Latin American culture the public can enjoy.

Both accredited authors and first-time writers are welcomed to the festival and get the opportunity to share their work and connect with Greek and Ibero-American (Latin America, Spain and Portugal) communities.

The official opening ceremony will be held in the Amphitheater at the Acropolis Museum on June 18. Its activities will be hosted in cultural venues in the city of Athens: the amphitheater of the Acropolis Museum, the Benaki Museum Pireos 138, the Cervantes Institute of Athens, the National Library of Greece and the En Plo and Polyglot bookstores, among others.

The festival’s program ranges from educational activities such as lectures, book presentations and translation workshops to cultural activities such as film screenings and theatrical performances. This year’s program touches on many topics including, but not limited to, gender equality and social transformation within writing. The focus of these activities is primarily on the intersection of literature and other aspects of human life. Most events will be available online or recorded, and entry to most activities will be free until it reaches capacity.

The LEA Festival will also pay tribute to Columbian writer and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, and Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti.

The Cervantes Institute of Athens will hold the LEA’s first Graphic Humour Exhibition from June 17 to July 17. The theme for the exhibition is “Cultural bridges: Latin America, Spain, Greece and Portugal,” which focuses on the encouragement of reading. Different awards are given at the festival, and one will be presented at the opening of this exhibition.

This is the only cultural event of Ibero-American literature in Greece that brings together writers from different backgrounds and Greek citizens to learn from and bond with each other. Since 2008 it has been held in Athens, but it has expanded to the islands of Lefkada and Crete in 2012, and in 2022 Chalkida was added.

The non-profit organization Festival LEA-Intercultural Development continues to organize the event in collaboration with the embassies of various South American countries and the Cervantes Institute of Athens.

Storytelling is an influential platform that connects people and cultures across the world. The LEA Festival, for 16 years, has created a platform where letters and words bring people together to form a joyous experience for everyone involved.

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