May 3 – 6, 2018, at the International Exhibition and Conference Center in Thessaloniki (HELEXPO) is taking place the 15th International Book Fair with honored guests from French-speaking countries. The central theme was “Democracy in the 21st Century”. The exhibition was organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in cooperation with the International Exhibition Center HELEXPO, the municipality of Thessaloniki, the Associations of Greek Publishers and independent publishers with the support of the Greek Parliament and under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.
In the 15th fair, there participated 285 publishers from Greece and 23 other countries. In addition, 44 French publishers presented themselves at the Francophone Stand with the assistance of the International Organization of French Publishers (BIEF). This year, participation of many foreign writers emphasized the international character of the fair. Over 40 authors took part in the fair, and during the 4 days of the book holiday some 500 events will be held. The children’s corner for young readers prepared 108 events created by 158 artists in cooperation with 31 publishers of children’s and teenage books and 13 cultural institutions.
On Saturday, May 5, the HFC will host the presentation “Poetry, history and memory: the Cavafy House Museum in Alexandria and the Museum of Filiki Eteria in Odessa” by Stavroula Spanoudi and Sofronis Paradeisopoulos. In the presentation of two places that are memorable for Greece, the House Museum of Cavafy and the Museum of Filiki Eteria operated by the branches of the HFC, there will also participate Yorgos Chouliaras, the chairman of the Writers’ Society.
On Sunday, May 6, in the VAVEL Hall the HFC will hold a discussion and round table “Greek literature abroad”. Translators and publishers from Egypt, Bulgaria, France, Ukraine and Serbia will talk about the perception of Greek literature in other countries. The speakers include Dejana Annits, (publisher, translator), Zdravka Mihailova (Hellenist, translator of literature), Ann-Lor Brizak (publisher, translator), Haled Rauf (translator), Andrey Savenko (translator, associate professor of the Department of General Linguistics, Classical Philology and Neo-Hellenism, T. Shevchenko National University), and Simona Tayefer (publisher, translator). Coordinator: Samuel Bissaras (translator from the Arabic language).
In the framework of the fair, for the third year in a row there will take place the “Translation Festival”.
As Paul Oster put it, “Translators are hidden heroes of literature, whose work often remains in the shadows, and how allow different cultures to communicate with each other, allowing us to understand that we all live in the same world regardless of the country of residence.”
This great holiday of Greek and foreign books could not be held without a festival dedicated to those people who contribute to intercultural communication. Studying the importance of translators and recognizing their role in promoting literature, the program of the fair for the third year includes a festival of translations.
The festival’s events are addressed to both professionals in the field of translation and the public. Focusing on various types of literary translation, the events of the “Festival of Translations” cover various aspects of the translation process and the profession of a translator. Every year, the events of the festival are devoted to the main themes of the fair.