ARMENIA AT FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR 2023
ARI Literature Foundation was exhibiting at Frankfurt International Book Fair in October 18-22, 2023. The year was reach in different events, presentations, meetings on the fairs grounds and the Armenian National Stand. Due to efforts of publishers, literary agents, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia as well as our partner organizations such as Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Caucasus, PEN Armenia Center and European Prize for Literature (EUPL) the visibility of Armenia at the most important book industry event was exceptional.
This year was especially important for ARI Literature Foundation since in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Caucasus and with the support of The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia a panel discussion entitled Identity and Literature was conducted at the Frankfurt Studio stage in the frames of the fair.
The speakers of the panel were Armenian writers Armen Ohanyan, Anahit Ghazaryan and German writer and journalist of Armenian origin Laura Cwiertnia, German translator Susanna Yeghoyan from Graz, Austria. The event was moderated by the Director of Konrad Adenauer Foundation South Caucasus Stephan Malerius. The opening speech was delivered by Arevik Ashkharoyan, the founding director of ARI Literature Foundation followed by a welcoming speech by Zaruhi Hakobyan on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia.
Different issues and viewpoints concerning reflection of identity in literature were discussed. Also, the effectiveness of usage of literature and culture as a tool in raising political awareness among societies was a key issue put on the agenda of the panel.
At the Q&A session a discussion started with the audience opposing some of the ideas expressed by the speakers. There were also questions about how much European Armenian literature is and what books are being read in Armenia and what the bestsellers are. The panel presented Armenia as a democratic state with variety of opinions and freedom of speech, as well as a need for revising the narratives in literature to better integrate into the European book market.
And we are proud to state that during the fair several events covering Armenian literature in translation took place. Among them were the presentations of the German editions of books by renowned Armenian writers Susanna Harutyunyan and Hovik Afyan at the German publishers’ collective stand by the publisher Akademische Verlagsbuchhandlung Friedrich Mauke. The novel Ravens Before Noah by Susanna Harutyunyan was presented with participation of the author and the translator, Susanna Yeghoyan. The author was taking a tour in Germany with events in Munich and Berlin in addition to Frankfurt. Hovik Afyan’s Red was also presented at the book fair by the publisher Andre Störr.
A reception in the honor of Lusine Kharatyan’s novel Syrian Affair shortlisted for European Prize for Literature Award was organized at the Armenian stand on Friday, October 20th.
On the last day of the fair at St. Paul’s Church the award ceremony of The Prize for Peace by German Book Trade took place and in the series of readings of international authors as a part of the ceremony an extract from Aram Pachyan’s P/F in German was read. The German edition of the book was published recently by Kolchis, Switzerland. This is one of the most prestigious ceremonies taking place in the framework of Frankfurt Book Fair.
Overall Frankfurt Book Fair 2023 was very busy, fruitful, and effective for Armenian publishers, writers, translators and other representatives of the publishing field.