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Guadalajara Book Fair welcomes Argentina

Guadalajara Book Fair welcomes Argentina

Posted by Juan Gavasa on November 29, 2014

Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman will today preside over the inauguration of the Argentine stand at the Guadalajara Book Fair, the world’s second largest event of its kind and the most important one in the Spanish-speaking world. Argentina is this year’s Guest of Honour at the Guadalajara Book Fair.

Argentina’s stand, with a surface of more than 1,700 m2, will feature a wealth of activities and a varied programme of debates, lectures, poetry recitals, stage performances, music, cinema and art exhibitions. More than 250 personalities from Argentine culture will be present throughout the event.

Prior to the inauguration of Argentina’s stand, last Thursday the Instituto Cultural Cabañas opened the exhibition La protesta: arte y política en la Argentina, which traverses several artistic movements, from engravings published in anarchist magazines and three exhibition halls featuring works by painting masters Antonio Berni, León Ferrari and Carlos Alonso, among others. The exhibit also includes the art emerging from the socioeconomic debacle of 2001.

Arts and politics went hand in hand again at the inauguration of another show, an exhibit devoted to the influencia of Mexican muralismo on Argentine art, focusing on the Ejercicio Plástico saga painted by David Alfaro Siqueiros in Argentina in 1933. Siqueiros’ work was rescued and restored by the Argentine government and placed at the Bicentennial Museum behind Government House in BA.

As for the book industry itself, 30 Argentine publishing houses have sent a commercial delegation, seeking to promote the country’s cultural products and generate business opportunities, industry sources reported.

Organized by the BA City Foreign Trade Board and the Argentine Book Chamber (CAL), the highlights of Argentina’s mission will be two central events: an exhibition by the Argentine publishing industry, with the participation of the 50 libraries under the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and a series of commercial round tables with more than 15 potential buyers from Mexico’s official institutions.

The objective, according to organizers, is to introduce a new paradigm — traditionally, Argentina’s main business consisted in associating with Mexican publishers and distributors, whereas this time the country will seek to explore its export potential thanks to the professionalism and quality of Argentine authors and the content of Argentine books.

More than 150 million books are sold yearly in Mexico, and the trade volume exceeds 750 million dollars. Mexico imports more than 40,000 titles every year, amounting to 35 million dollars. Out of this total, 2,897,782 correspond to purchases from Argentine publishers.

The exhibition titled Cortázar, modelo para armar, is the most fitting presence towering above everything else at the Museo de las Artes de la Universidad de Guadalajara. From then on, it’s Argentina all around for visitors interested in the country’s literary and intellectual scene.

As this year’s Guest of Honour, Argentina has programmed an important series of activities and events, such as Encrucijadas de la poesía argentina contemporánea (Argentine Contemporary Poetry at a Crossroads), with Hugo Mujica , Rodolfo Alonso, Jorge Fondebrider and Tamara Kamenszain, and Francisco Garamona as moderator.

Siete preguntas, siete autores (Seven Questions, Seven Authors) will feature Samanta Schweblin, Guillermo Saccomanno, Fernanda García Lao, Leopoldo Brizuela, Selva Almada, Carlos Aletto and Paulina Movischoff, with Silvina Friera as moderator.

A highly relevant round table will be Géneros fronterizos. Innovaciones narrativas a partir de los recursos de la web (Bordering Genres: Narrative Innovations Through the Web Resources), to be debated by Luciano Saracino, Carlos Busqued, Carlos Aletto, Tálata Rodríguez, Fernanda García Lao, and Samanta Schweblin.

Perhaps one of the most attractive activities will be La invención de Bioy. Homenaje a Adolfo Bioy Casares (Bioy’s Invention: Tribute to Adolfo Bioy Casares), in which writers Tununa Mercado, María Rosa Lojo and Juan Ignacio Boido will attempt to shed new light on the work of the undisputed master of Argentine fantascience literary. Journalist Cristina Mucci will moderate the round table.

Writers Perla Sneh, Vicente Antonio Palermo and Ricardo Maliandi will head a panel on Los Premios Nacionales argentinos — categoría ensayo (Argentine National Book Awards — Essays).

In América del Sur en el nuevo mapa geoestratégico global (South America in the New Global Geo Strategic Map), Telma Luzzanni will tackle the challenges faced by writers and the publishing industry in a context characterized by breakneck speed technological and economic and sociopolitical changes.

One of the most-eagerly awaited activities will be headed by renowned playwright Mauricio Kartún and Cristina Banegas, one of Argentina’s most prestigious actresses. With literary critic-journalist Osvaldo Quiroga as moderator, the title of their debate will be Lo tuyo es puro teatro. La escritura teatral como forma de pensamiento (Mere Theatricals: Writing for the Stage As a Way of Thinking).

Finally, poets-performers Tálata Rodríguez and Garamona will grab the spotlight with their blend of poetry, music and stage performance.

Founded 28 years ago by the Universidad de Guadalajara, this Book Fair is a meeting for publishing industry professionals where the public at large is welcome, unlike the main book fairs in the rest of the world.

Never neglecting its business and professional side, it’s a cultural festival focusing on literary and featuring from a multiplicity of countries and writing in different languages. It also provides a space for academic debate.

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