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Frankfurt Book Fair about to open

Stevie Emilia

The Jakarta Post

Frankfurt  /  Tue, October 18, 2016  /  08:54 pm
Frankfurt Book Fair about to open

All set -- A staff member at Indonesia's national stand organizes books for the Frankfurt Book Fair, which will launch on Tuesday evening. The event will open for the public on Wednesday and run until Sunday. (JP/Stevie Emilia)

The 68th Frankfurt Book Fair will open in a matter of hours, with an Indonesian delegation of writers, publishers and creatives joining more than 7,100 exhibitors from some 100 countries at the world's oldest book fair.

However, technicalities may hamper Indonesia's goal to make its mark at this year's fair, which will run until Sunday, after the archipelago gained special attention last year as the Guest of Honor.

The member of the national steering committee, Goenawan Mohamad, said bureaucratic hurdles like payments for ordering tickets and hotels were creating complications and slowing things down.

Haidar Bagir, president director of publishing house Mizan and a member of the Indonesian delegation, reportedly has not yet obtained tickets but is scheduled to hold sessions at the fair.

"Such complications only end up making things more costly," Goenawan said in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

For the fair, Indonesia will stick with its theme “17,000 Islands of Imagination”, but with a greater focus on contemporary literature, presenting award-winning writers like Eka Kurniawan, Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Laksmi Pamuntjak and M. Aan Mansyur as well as creative players from graphic design and music to culinary culture.

Europe will be an important topic during the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening, where European Parliament President Martin Schulz is expected to speak. Moreover, with Flanders and the Netherlands as this year’s Guest of Honor, the fair will highlight the language and culture of a cross-border region at the heart of Europe.

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