Spain wins over the public at the Kolkata International Book Fair
Spain closed with great success its participation as Main Thematic Country in the 46th Kolkata International Book Fair, the largest in the world in terms of visitors.
On Sunday, February 12, Spain closed its participation as the Thematic Country at the 46th Kolkata International Book Fair, the world’s largest in terms of visitors, with a resounding success among publishing professionals and the general public. More than 200,000 people visited the pavilion, the epicenter of the literary, cultural, and professional program designed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in India, the Cervantes Institute, the Federation of Publishers’ Guilds of Spain, Acción Cultural Española and Turespaña.
The Spanish participation in Kolkata has meant a new step in the strategy of internationalization of our literature, in all its genres and all the languages of the State. During 14 days, more than 80 activities have been organized with the participation of established writers, new voices of the literary scene in Spain, as well as hispanists, authors, and Indian translators. Mario Obrero, Ismael Ramos, Maria Sevilla, Agustín Fernández Mallo, Luis García Montero, Anna Caballé, Carla Berrocal, and Olga de Dios, among others, gave talks, workshops, and interviews in a 300-square-meter pavilion built with sustainable materials with the support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).
The program, which paid tribute to literary classics such as Miguel de Cervantes and Federico García Lorca, also paid attention to other cultural manifestations such as cinema, music, gastronomy, and art, in addition to promoting various professional meetings.
In his closing speech, the deputy director general for the Promotion of Books, Reading and Spanish Literature, Jesús González, said that «our commitment with this edition of the fair is that the seeds we have planted these days will continue to germinate in the future». Also present at the closing ceremony were the director of the Cervantes Institute in New Delhi, Óscar Pujol, and the secretaries of the Spanish Embassy in India, Alfonso Pérez-Hernández and Helena Escorial.
Commitment to the internationalization of books
Expanding the presence and visibility of Spain in India, and showing a modern and avant-garde country, committed to women’s equality, freedom, and progress were some of the objectives of the Spanish participation in this fair in Calcutta. The Ministry of Culture and Sport thus continues with the strategy of internationalization of the book, initiated in 2019 and which has had its high point in the last Frankfurt Book Fair, the most important in the sector. A strategy that will continue with the upcoming participation of Spain as a guest at the International Comic Convention in San Diego, California (Comic-Con), to be held in July. In 2024, Spain will be the guest of honor at the International Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico, and in 2025 at the International Book Fair in Bogota, Colombia.
A legacy of more than 500 books
The Director General of Books and Reading Promotion, María José Gálvez, took advantage of her presence at the fair to underwrite the donation of more than 500 books and cultural magazines exhibited in the Spanish pavilion during these 14 days to some universities with Spanish departments: Amity University Kolkata, Sister Nivedita University, Neotia University, Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan School and Rabindra Bharati University.