Press release from the Frankfurt Book Fair:
Indonesia: Largest Archipelago of the world will be Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015
Biggest democracy in South East Asia / Oral tradition, digital innovation
Frankfurt, 15.07.2013: In 2015 the Frankfurt Book Fair will present “the vibrant literature, talents and the rich culture of one of the most populous and ‘young’ countries in the world, of which only little is known in Germany”, says Director of Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos. Indonesia will follow Brazil (after Finland in 2014) as Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015. The respective agreement was signed in early June between the Book Fair and the partner, the Ministry for Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. With this, the Book Fair will present yet another growing country with huge potential and an expanding education sector as a focus. Since 2003 the Indonesian government has spent 20% of its national budget on education, also investing in digital textbooks. In 2011 this amounted to a sum of 21.5 billion Euros. The Indonesian economy presented a growth rate of 6.5% in 2012.
Indonesian literature looks on a grand tradition of oral storytelling, an expressive tradition of poetry, and also has great prose literature in its repertoire. One of the most well-known Indonesian authors is Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006). He was awarded the PEN Freedom Award and published more than 30 works which were translated into at least 20 languages. Pramoedya Ananta Toer was also high on the list of the candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature. The generation of young authors for example is represented by Ayu Utami whose novel Saman was published with Horlemann Verlag in 2007. Another new star on the horizon is Andrea Hirata whose novel Rainbow Troops was published at Hanser Berlin in 2013 and who was awarded the ITB Book Award at the International Tourism Exhibition in Berlin, where Indonesia was the partner country. There are about 1,000 active publishing houses in Indonesia and more than 260 of their publications have been translated into the English language altogether. The Lontar Foundation is an active player in the translation of Indonesian literature into the English language. Indonesia has a growing educated middle class and a very digital minded young generation; Indonesian Art is also becoming more and more known in the international art scene.
“Unity in Diversity”
Indonesia is the land which unites many opposites: while it is home to the biggest Muslim community worldwide, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists as well as believers of nature religions live side by side. It is host to more than 300 ethnic groups and at least as many languages.
The land that features the world’s third largest Facebook and Twitter communities is also home to one of the biggest Buddhist temples in South East Asia: Borobudur, built around 800. Moreover, Indonesia features one of the world’s most interesting and beautiful wonders of nature, making it extremely attractive for tourism and travel literature.
About the Frankfurt Book Fair:
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book and media fair in the world – with around 7,300 exhibitors from around 100 countries. It also organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs. It maintains the most visited website worldwide for the publishing industry at www.book-fair.com and its directory of decision-makers in the book and media industries features around 40,000 contacts. The Frankfurt Academy – the new conference brand of the Frankfurt Book Fair in cooperation with the German Publishers & Booksellers Association — organises international conferences and trade events all year long. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.