CULTURE

Thessaloniki prepares for International Book Fair

As announced by Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos recently, the official headquarters of the International Book Fair organized by the National Book Center of Greece (EKEBI) is the city of Thessaloniki.

Now in its eighth edition, the event is scheduled to take place from May 5 to 8, presenting 190 Greek and foreign authors, 166 publishers and a long list of events taking place at the city?s Helexpo pavilions.

The program was unveiled at the ministry?s amphitheater a few days ago, in the presence of minister Geroulanos and EKEBI?s president and director, Takis Theodoropoulos and Catherine Velissaris, respectively.

?The event has never been more international or more warmly embraced by the city of Thessaloniki,? noted Geroulanos, who added that the time is right for the fair?s further development.

This year the festival will host authors from the Middle East, the Maghreb, Turkey and elsewhere. Tariq Ali (Pakistan-Britain), Gamal Ghitani (Egypt), Yohannes Gebregiorgis (Ethiopia), David Grossman (Israel), Tuna Kiremitci (Turkey), Hoda Barakat (Lebanon), Boualem Sansal (Algeria) and Subhi Hadidi (Syria) will be among the guests of Greek publishers.

Besides talking about their works, the authors will also take a look at the state of affairs in their own societies and how they incorporate this in their writings. The authors are part of the city?s ?Cultural Crossroads? program.

Other international guests expected to attend the Thessaloniki International Book Fair 2011 are classicist Richard Stoneman, authors Nicolas Verdan and Bajac Vladislav and publisher Nicola Crocetti.

On the local front, participating in the event are 110 writers and poets, while 60 authors and illustrators will add their own color to the Children and Young Adults? Corner.

The event?s annual exhibition will focus on books and education, while an international conference on the same subject will bring together Greek, French, Italian, Norwegian and Finnish academics.

Going on display at the exhibition are some 500 educational titles. Meanwhile two visual arts shows will narrate of the history of Greek schools: One exhibition will showcase 19th- and 20th-century schoolbooks while the other will see photos by Voula Papaioannou and Dimitris Harisiadis going on display in collaboration with the Benaki Museum.

Other highlights include an Odysseas Elytis pavilion, as well as as magazine and new technologies corners.

The book fair is part of the National Strategic Reference Framework?s Regional Operational Program of Macedonia-Thrace 2007-2013 and is co-funded by the European Union?s European Regional Development Fund.