By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Boos: ‘A Strong Unified Europe’The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, will open the 69th Frankfurt Book Fair on Tuesday (October 10). The fair runs through October 15.
France’s participation as Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Guest of Honor is occurring under the auspices of the French president, and Macron will join Merkel after the formal opening ceremony at the fair’s Congress Center in opening the French Guest of Honor pavilion, as well.
In a prepared statement, Juergen Boos, Frankfurt Book Fair director, is quoted, saying, “The presence of Chancellor Merkel and President Macron at the opening of Frankfurter Buchmesse symbolizes the close relationship between Germany and France and their commitment to a strong, unified Europe.”
Boos will speak at the opening, as will:
- Heinrich Riethmüller, chair of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s Publishers and Booksellers Association
- Volker Bouffier, minister-president of the state of Hesse
- Peter Feldmann, mayor of the City of Frankfurt am Main.
This year’s literary speakers, who are traditionally chosen by the Guest of Honor committee, are the author Wajdi Mouawad and actor Judith Rosmair.
The French program, expected to draw some 180 Francophone authors to the fair’s programming this year, has a presentation at the heart of France’s presence at Buchmesse described by its organizers as “a three-dimensional Gesamtkunstwerk,” a “total” work of art that will contextualize for visitors “the great range of French-language literature.”
Exhibitions on-site are expected to include Belgian-French graphic novels and an exposition of the history of French publishing over more than two centuries.
In line with the news of the Merkel-Macron opening, Paul de Sinety, chairman of France’s Guest of Honor program, has been quoted, saying, “With the presence at the Frankfurter Buchmesse of well over 100 French-language authors and with hundreds of cultural events at and beyond the Book Fair, ‘Francfort en français’ stands as a symbol of a new upturn in the relationship between France and Germany and conveys a very powerful movement toward a more harmonious Europe.”
Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair, with more than 7,150 exhibitors from 106 countries, around 278,000 visitors, more than 4,000 events, and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists in attendance.
It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries.
Since 1976, Frankfurt Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets.