France selected as theme country at Taipei book fair for the fourth time

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Organizers of the upcoming Taipei International Book Exhibition announced Thursday that France together with its renowned authors and literature have been selected as the central theme at the book fair for the fourth time.

The announcement was made during a press conference that day, hosted by the fair’s organizers, the Ministry of Culture (MOC) and the Taipei Book Fair Foundation.

The organizers revealed that the literary slogan for the event, which is set to open on June 2, will be “I read, therefore I am,” a play on renowned French philosopher René Descartes famous quote “I think, therefore I am.”

With France once again taking center stage, the presser was also attended by Bureau Français de Taiwan’s Head of Culture, University Cooperation and Education David Kibler as well as Filip Grzegorzewski, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan.

On the literary slogan referencing one of his country’s best known philosophers, Kibler said he hopes reading will give people the comfort they need in a post-pandemic world.

Keynote speeches will focus on various genres of audio-books, while French creative studio Small Bang will introduce a new style of comic book that includes an interactive experience allowing readers to interact through different mediums, the organizers added.

Other than highlighting the works of modern French writers such as Chantal Thomas, Pierre Lemaitre and Éric Faye, handwritten manuscripts from literary greats like George Sand, Marcel Proust and Victor Hugo will also be on display at the fair, thanks to the generosity of private collectors and the François-Mitterrand Library, France’s national library, according to the organizers.

Ukraine joins Taipei book fair for the first time

Organizers of the Taipei book fair also announced that Ukraine will join the expo for the first time at a special “We Stand with Ukraine” section.

Organizers said the fair will also include a special exhibition displaying works by 15 Ukrainian illustrators that reflect the current experience and feelings of Ukrainians about the on-going war with Russia.

Meanwhile, Valentina Butenko, an international market development executive at Yakaboo, an online bookstore in Ukraine, will lead talks and keynote speeches on Ukrainian culture and national identity and the country’s publishing culture.

Butenko previously thanked the MOC for helping to make arrangements for a bigger Ukrainian delegation to attend the fair.

Unfortunately, Butenko said, the war has made such plans difficult, but she will still do her part by seeking to put Ukraine back on the international stage in talks and through the books she brought with her.

According to Deputy Culture Minister Lee Ching-hwi (李靜慧), who attended the Thursday presser on behalf of MOC, the ministry invited Ukraine as the result of a story on Butenko written by CNA.

After Culture Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得) read about how Butenko left her studies in the UK to return to Ukraine before the war and then joined her current company with the aim of bringing Ukraine to the attention of the world, CNA was contacted to help bring her to Taiwan, Lee Ching-hwi said.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming 30th edition of the Taipei International Book Exhibition is the first time the fair is being held physically in two years.

The event will be held from June 2-7 at the Exhibition Hall 1 of the Taipei World Trade Center, with COVID protocols in place to ensure the safety of attendees, participants and staff, Lee Ching-hwi said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.