Wednesday, June 16

Guild to help Bangladesh host first international book fair

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The International Kolkata Book Fair has become a role model for Bangladesh. It now plans to design its first international book fair on the same. The book fair in Bangladesh is slated to be a week-long affair in November this year and is being planned as part of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s birth centenary celebrations.

The Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the organizers of the Kolkata book fair for the past 44 years, has been requested to assist in organising the fair in Dhaka, because of its experience. Bangladesh deputy high commissioner in Kolkata, Toufique Hasan confirmed the development.

In the past, book fairs in Bangladesh have been organised in February to coincide with Bhasha Diwas on February 21. But these fairs have been local affairs where only Bangladeshi publishers participate. The international book fair that is being planned now will have foreign publishers participating for the first time. The culture ministry of Bangladesh is drawing out the plan for this and most of the leading publishers from India will be invited to set up stalls.

Bangladesh has sought affiliation from the International Publishers Association, Geneva, to which all such fairs are affiliated. This global umbrella organisation allots dates for the fair. “We are excited about the first international book fair. much like the Kolkata book fair, this will become an annual feature on our calendars from now,” Hasan said.

This development comes on the heels of the February 9 announcement that International Kolkata Book Fair, 2021, will celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Mujibur Rehman. The theme country will be Bangladesh and a special pavilion will be allotted to the country. The culture ministry of Bangladesh will design the stall and set up the exhibition along with special published and handwritten works on and by the first prime minister of Bangladesh.

The Guild was happy with the invitation. “This validates the efforts that we have put into the Kolkata edition. It’s a huge honour,” said Tridib Chatterjee, president of the Guild.


Source: Times of India

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