Book Arsenal presents its special programme of events at the Vilnius Book Fair, co-curated by the Lithuanian Culture Institute
The 23rd Vilnius Book Fair will be held from February 23 to 26, 2023. Book Arsenal will present its program of events co-curated by the Lithuanian Culture Institute
Invited by the organizers of the Vilnius Book Fair, the Book Arsenal has created a program of events that will present the versatile Ukrainian literary and cultural scene in Vilnius.
“Our special program of events continues the partnership and program cooperation between the International Book Arsenal Festival and the Lithuanian Culture Institute. The invitation from our partners to participate in this year’s fair is an honor and a responsibility for our team: the dates of the Vilnius Book Fair include February 24, the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It was on this very day last year that our colleagues opened their fair with a declaration that condemned Russian aggression, stressed on support for the people of Ukraine, as well as professional solidarity and uniting all progressive forces and platforms to help us in the struggle for freedom and independence. During this whole year, we could feel this support from our colleagues; our country continues its resistance and struggle, and we continue to spread the message about the need to support Ukraine across the world. That is why we are grateful for the opportunity to speak, using the language of cultural projects, about our identity, as well as our common values, challenges, and threats that humanity is facing nowadays, from the stage in Vilnius,” said Yuliia Kozlovets, Coordinator of the International Book Arsenal Festival.
The special program will include a series of events that reflect the Book Arsenal’s conventional approach to programming, i.e. multidisciplinary events, searching for relevant and topical content, working with various formats, and targeting different audiences.
The program includes:
- a discussion on the professional solidarity of Ukrainian and Lithuanian authors and volunteers;
- a public talk about creative practices, as well as creative tools of resistance that our creative communities use;
- poetry readings by Ukrainian and Lithuanian poets;
- book presentations.
In cooperation with the Dovzhenko Centre, a screening of Oleksandr Dovzhenko’s film Earth will be held, following the discussion on how this film has changed cinema. STRICHKA film-performance will tell the Lithuanian audience the stories of people who were forced to leave their cities, fleeing the war.
The events for the youngest visitors, as a part of the kid’s program of the fair, include theatrical readings and creative workshops, also inviting the children of refugees from Ukraine who have found shelter and are now living in Lithuania.
During four days of the fair, two exhibitions will run: Illustrated Ukraine by Pictoric Illustrators Club, and Agrafka picturebook makers by art studio Agrafka, and the curators will give guided tours of these exhibitions for the visitors.
Invited by the Book Arsenal, the following Ukrainian guests will take part in the special program of events: children’s writer and poet Kateryna Mikhalitsyna, writer Andriy Lyubka, poet Halyna Kruk, artist Eugene Arlov, poet and performer Haska Shyyan, cinema expert Alona Penzii, coordinator of the International Book Arsenal Festival Yuliia Kozlovets, illustrators from Pictoric club (Olena Staranchuk and Oleg Gryshchenko) and art studio Agrafka (Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv).
The Book Arsenal will also present an exhibition of the winning books of the Best Book Design Contest 2022, and Oleg Gryshchenko, the member of the jury of the Ukrainian contest, will take part in judging the Best Baltic Book Design contest that invited Ukraine to be the guest of honour for this year.
“Last February, the Vilnius Book Fair became an immediate support space for Ukraine, and remains so. For us, the most obvious act is to offer the platform of this year‘s Book Fair to our Ukrainian colleagues, authors, literary professionals and artists. So that they can speak about the most urgent matters, as well as to share the rich culture of their country. Giving the voice to Ukraine is our duty and wish, not only in Lithuania, but also internationally. We are spreading the message of freedom for Ukraine at the international book fairs and cultural events around the world, and we will continue our support and cooperation with Ukraine in every possible way,” said Rūta Nanartavičiūtė, Head of Programs and Projects Department of the Lithuanian Culture Institute.
Within the Vilnius Book Fair, the Media Forum will also take place, organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. Book Arsenal assists in Oleksandra Matviichuk’s live online participation in the panel discussion “The role of civil society”. Simultaneously to the fair events, there will also be creative meetings and masterclasses by Ukrainian illustrators for the students of the Vilnius Academy of Arts.
Ukrainian national stand, organized by the Ukrainian Book Institute, will exhibit a selection of up-to-date books by Ukrainian publishers, and will be the central meeting place for the audience of the fair to meet Ukrainian books, publishers, and authors.
Full information about this year’s participation of Ukraine at the Vilnius Book Fair will be available soon on the Ukrainian Book Institute website.
International Book Arsenal Festival (IBAF) is an annual project of the Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv) since 2011. It’s the biggest intellectual event in Ukraine, where the book, literary, and artistic scenes develop and interact with each other. IBAF’s international projects, being organized and presented at the main literary festivals and book fairs abroad, integrate the Ukrainian book, literary and art community with the international one and promote better understanding and visibility of Ukraine in the world.
The Lithuanian Culture Institute is a budgetary institution established by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, which is consistently strengthening the role of Lithuanian culture in the world. The Institute purposefully presents Lithuanian culture and professional art abroad and enhances the opportunities on the international scene for cultural professionals and artists, as well as for specialists and organisations working in these fields.
International Vilnius Book Fair is the biggest book fair in the Baltic countries, which has been running since 2000, and every year it attracts more than 65,000 visitors. Its extremely rich programme (more than 600 events in four days), is the best place for authors and readers to meet. In 2023 the 23rd book fair will take place on the 23rd to 26st of February. The theme of the Book Fair is 700 Lines for Freedom, which combines two important topics – 700 years of Vilnius city anniversary and the theme of freedom, the fragility of which Europe and the whole world are experiencing now.
Organizers of the fair: Lithuanian Publishers Association, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Litexpo — Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre.