This year, there was a twist in topics at the 13th Thessaloniki International Book Fair. As a part of the Year of Greek-Russian Friendship, there was the highlighted theme of Russian literature, and in light of the refugee crisis that has grasped the country, there was a special second theme introduced, entitled “Refugees, Then and Today.” The annual fair took place from May 12-15 at the Helexpo exhibition center and presented two themes in tribute as well as a Translation Festival with a four-day program of events, workshops and discussions.
With 500 square meters devoted to Russian literature, attendees were able to learn about the country’s historical and cultural evolution, as there were lectures presented by Russian writers, round-table discussions, poetry readings as well as language and translation programs. Along with guests from Russia that were included in the event, a total of 23 diverse writers were invited to present and speak to the public about their work, from England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Canada, Croatia, Romania and FYROM.
The tribute, “Refugees, Then and Today,” consisted of a wide range of media. The space was filled with books and studies dedicated to the fluid subject of the refugee crisis. Also, there were two exhibitions of both photography and artwork, which highlighted the refugee crisis in Greece and the EU in hopes of raising awareness of the realities the crisis presents to the refugees.
In addition, there were twenty more countries that participated with their own kiosks representing Egypt, Albania, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, China, Korea, Croatia, Cyprus, Bangladesh, Ukraine, FYROM, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey.