South Korea is the Guest of Honor and the theme country for the 2019 Book Fair. The country’s literature, publishing and culture will be presented through several of the foremost South Korean authors. Moreover, next year South Korea and Sweden will celebrate sixty years of diplomatic relations. The collaborative partners for this endeavour are the South Korean ministry of culture, the Korean Publishers Association, the Writers Association of Korea, and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.
“We are happy about the cooperation with the Book Fair in Göteborg and the opportunity to present South Korean literature and culture to a Swedish audience. This book fair is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries which celebrates reading and literature. It will take us on a fascinating intellectual adventure”, Mr Chul Ho Yoon, chairman of the Korean Publishers Association, says.
“We are presently working on selecting authors for next year’s program and preparing the translation of their work into Swedish. I truly look forward to introducing their stories next year,” Ms Kyung Ja Lee, chairwoman of the Writers Association of Korea, says.
In 1919, Sweden’s Parliament (Sveriges riksdag) voted to pass universal suffrage. The Book Fair’s coming Gender Equality theme relates to the centennial thereof and will take a look into the future. A number of international authors, journalists and researchers, but also musicians and entrepreneurs, will be invited to the 2019 Book Fair. The Syrian author Samar Yazbek has already been set as a guest at the Book Fair.
“Gender equality is one of our time’s great social justice issues. By undertaking this theme, we create the conditions for a broadened and deepened dialogue on gender equality. We particularly look forward to gaining new perspectives on these issues with international guests on location”, Oskar Ekström, Program Director at the Göteborg Book Fair, says.
Media and information literacy
On 1 July 2018, the written policy of Swedish schools was strengthened with a clearer mission concerning media and information proficiency and source criticism (MIL). In August, the government commissioned a national investigation for increasing resistance to disinformation, propaganda and online hate. Media and information literacy will be a theme at the 2019 Book Fair. This will take place in cooperation with Region Västra Götaland and The Swedish National Commission for UNESCO, which in parallel with the 2019 Book Fair, will host the UNESCO conference Global Media Global Media and Information Literacy Week. Additional partners are The Swedish Teachers’ Union, the Swedish Library Association, and UR (Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company).
“By situating parts of the conference at the Book Fair, we will reach many key persons to increase media and information proficiency. Librarians and teachers are absolutely crucial in this important work which Region Västra Götaland is heading together with numerous other actors. By arranging an international conference, we will obtain maximal force in the issue – from locally to globally”, Conny Brännberg, minister of culture in Region Västra Götaland, says.
“Our goal, through the theme Media and information literacy at the Book Fair, is to give librarians and teachers increased knowledge and valuable tools in their daily work”, Annica Andersson, editor of at the Book Fair, says.