This great celebration is the cornerstone of the effort made every year in September for individuals to come closer to books, to get to know them better, to understand what it means to read in depth and not just to read, to meet people of the same mindset and chat with them. A book can be a good friend, a companion during difficult moments in a person's life, open one's horizons by offering a solution, and remain a timeless value and a staple of our culture.
There are also many and varied events taking place at the festival, such as theatrical and musical shows, novel presentations, as well as tributes to people in the arts and literature. With over 120 kiosks, 150 publishers, and 50,000 books on display, the visitor has the joy and the opportunity to browse literary, social and scientific books, as well as to socialize with people who are interested in them and to exchange views on topical issues.
Moreover, every year in a specially designed space open to the public for the duration of the exhibition, there is a special dedication to the work of a great writer, poet or artist, so that people can admire his or her creations and learn more for their life. Also, literary presentations are being made by new writers who are in the showroom ready to converse with visitors and sign their tomes. Notably, a special part of the festival is the support it receives from the world of politics, as every year it visited by Party leaders, Ministers, Deputies and the President of the Republic.
"The book once again upgrades and gives a touch of optimism to our lives" were the words of the president of the Association of Book Publishers (SEKB) Grigoris Plastaras, with which he welcomed the public and the guests tonight, at the opening of the 50th Book Festival in Zappeio, which were carried out by the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
With an anniversary character for the 100 years since the Asia Minor Disaster, 2 main tributes - "Diversity and Racism" and "Iakovos Kampanellis, the pioneer of the post-war and modern Greek theater", many parallel events with a large representation of publishers, political bodies, open discussions of writers with the public, the beloved and popular institution of the city, the Book Festival, will last until September 18th, "confirming its main goal, to be a social action that will embrace all citizens", as the president of SEKB said. Grigoris Plastaras spoke about the book "as a means of awakening and resistance to any alienation, especially today, in our individualized society, where the collective is in danger of being lost". And as he pointed out, "despite the development of the internet, the printed version, the body of the book that could also be considered a work of art, continues to be identified with the immediacy of contact and the concept of reading".
The president of SEKB referred to the chronic problems in the field of books, saying characteristically: "We would like this to be the year where they would have already been resolved, but unfortunately, many of our critical problems are still waiting for a solution from the authorities. Nevertheless, it is the will to professional and economic survival that marginally exceeds our fixation, but this fact cannot be perpetuated forever, because there is a critical point where the balance is tipped." He continued, repeating epigrammatically the problems "in the hope that they will be heard before they become inaccessible":
"-The absence of a national institution with the exclusive object of the book, for the formation of a national book policy, which will strengthen the love of reading and will highlight the Greek literary production outside the borders.
- The need to standardize VAT on book production, with the immediate goal of zeroing it out, which will boost demand, leave fiscal costs unaffected and at the same time give life to publishing businesses
- The abandonment of school library programs
- The need to redesign and upgrade the Thessaloniki International Book Fair as well as Greek participation in international fairs abroad.
- The promotion of the printed book in Universities, given that many students will study a printed book for the last time".
"Fortunately, in addition to the institutional bodies that are responsible for our unsolved problems, there are also bodies that, with their actions and support, fill us with optimism and help us to overcome obstacles" concluded the president of SEKB in his greeting, expressing thanks to the Ministry of Development and Investments and Minister Adonis Georgiadis, for his support in the co-organization of the 50th Book Festival in Zappeion. He also thanked the Ministry of Culture and Sports, under whose auspices the 50th Festival is taking place, the Municipality of Athens and its mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, the Organization of Culture, Sports and Youth of the Municipality of Athens (OPANANDA. ), the National Historical Museum, the National Theatre, the Karolos Koun Art Theater and the Athenian Artistic Network, the Hellenic Cultural Foundation, the Professional Chamber of Athens, TikTok and the Organization for the Collective Management of Speech Works (OSDEL).
The opening of the 50th Book Festival in Zappeion was greeted by the Minister of Development and Investments, Adonis Georgiadis, the president of the Hellenic Cultural Foundation, Nikos Koukis, and Lefteris Skiadas on behalf of the Municipality of Athens.
Tickets: There is no ticket, entry is free to the public.
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