Book Platform at Leipzig Book Fair 2014

Ukrainian publishers and authors presented Ukraine at the Leipzig Book Fair – the second largest book fair in the world after the Frankfurt Book Fair, which was held on March 13-16, 2014. Participation of Ukrainians in the Fair for three years on end became possible due to the focus program "Tranzyt – Literature from Poland, Ukraine and Belarus", aiming at the joint promotion of Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian literatures in Germany.

Semenchuk, manager of the project "Leipzig Reads Ukraine": This year our stand, events, writers were clearly in the limelight. For me the main victory of three years is the evident increase in Ukrainian presence on the German-speaking literary market. It is expressed not only by new books but also by cooperation between institutions and Germans' better awareness of Ukrainian culture in general.

The Leipzig Book Fair was attended by 13 Ukrainian writers: Yuri Andrukhovych, Andrey Kurkov, Serhiy Zhadan, Irena Karpa, Kateryna Babkina, Tymofiy Havryliv, Natalka Sniadanko, Marjana Savka, Oleh Shynkarenko, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Oleksandr Kabanov, Oksana Forostyna and 3 publishers: Anetta Antonenko, Eleonora Simonova, Zinaida Bakumenko.

With the support of the Events Participation Support Scheme within the Book Platform project three translators from the "Prostory" periodical – Nelia Vakhovska, Nataliya Tchermalykh and Vasyl Lozynskyi, and two cultural managers from the International Literature Corporation "Meridian Czernowitz" - Sviatoslav Pomerantsev and Yevheniia Lopata, had the possibility to participate in the Fair.

Ukraine presented 15 events, and one of them was the professional discussion "Translating Ukraine: German Experience" within the Book Platform project. Participants of the discussion, among whom there were members of the translation union "Translit" Claudia Dathe and Sofia Onufriv, coordinator of the "Tranzyt" program Kateryna Stetsevych, writer and translator Tymofiy Havryliv, writer and editor of the "Vydavnytstvo Staroho Leva" ("Old Lion Publishing House") Marjana Savka, were speaking about the presence of Ukrainian literature in Germany and presented the results of the translations studies carried out earlier as a part of the project.

Iryna Lepska, manager of the Book Platform project in Ukraine:
Such professional discussions, during which it is possible to analyze the achieved results and to examine prospects of the translation process development, are always very valuable. During the discussion the participants once again emphasized that for the effective promotion of Ukrainian literature abroad it was necessary to establish a specialized institution as it had happened in other European countries. Ukrainian literature and culture deserve to be known to as many foreign readers as possible.

Despite the fact that the events related to EuroMaydan aroused the greatest interest, the professional translation discussion was also popular enough. It gathered an audience of over 35 translators, authors, journalists, researches and other visitors interested in the topic.

Representatives of the Book Platform project had a number of business meetings with local stakeholders, such as Vladka Kupska, Sales Manager at Frankfurt Book Fair for Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia, and Pavlo Klimkin, Ambassador of Ukraine in Germany. The organizer of the Frankfurt Book Fair were positively impressed with the quality of design and the effective work of the Ukrainian stand. They addressed NGO Publishers' Forum with the offer to organize the Ukrainian stand in Frankfurt under the conditions favorable for Ukrainians. Nowadays the Frankfurt Book Fair remains the largest platform for concluding effective agreements and signing long-term contracts, especially with respect to translations. Of course in the nearest future NGO Publishers' Forum plans to start preparing for the new project. The Ambassador was very interested in translation studies carried out within the Book Platform project and also promised to contribute to the possible participation of Ukraine in the Frankfurt Book Fair.

In addition to the events and meetings, the Book Platform project was represented by the various informational materials, such as publications of studies carried out within the project, bookmarks and also by the information in the promotional materials of NGO Publishers' Forum, which the visitors of the stand were willingly taking, which indicated the interest of foreign audience in Ukrainian literature. In general, materials of the project were presented at four stands in the Hall 4 – the stands of the Ukrainian partner of the project and organizer of the Ukrainian program – NGO Publishers' Forum, the Georgian partner of the project – Georgian Book Publishers Association, the International Literature Corporation "Meridian Czernowitz", and the translation union "Translit', members of which were also the co-organizers of the translation discussion.

Stetsevych, coordinator of the program "Tranzyt Literature from Poland, Ukraine and Belarus", author of the study on translation from Ukrainian into German, carried out within the Book Platform project: I hope that next year the Ukrainian stand will be at its usual place. We will do everything possible to further contribute to the popularization of Ukrainian writers in Germany, to the promotion of Ukrainian books among German readers.



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