Books bring nations together in a time of global turmoil

While world politics is in shambles, with Russian forces stepping up their attacks in Ukraine, the 45th Kolkata International Book Fair presents a different picture – of peace. Entering the exhibition center through gate No. 4, one can see the world pavilions, including Russia, the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Iran and others, warmly welcoming book lovers. This time around, the central theme country is Bangladesh to mark the Golden Jubilee year of its independence. Inside its massive pavilion you can see old photographs from the Liberation War. Most of the pavilions were buzzing with activity on the first day of the fair. Tridib Chatterjee, GS of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, said: “The book fair acts as a cultural bridge between nations in conflict. We welcome stands from many countries. Books connect us all. There is no war or discord here. Here is an overview…

Attractions at the Russian Pavilion

From art workshops to tea corner and food kiosks, the Russian pavilion was buzzing with activity on March 1. And therein lies the essence of the Russian pavilion. Painter Konstantin Polyakov and Visva Bharati’s Sudhi Ranjan Mukherjee were seen leading a watercolor and alpona workshop together.

The Italian pavilion presents cartoon creations

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The pavilion features an exhibition of Upal’s cartoon creations, “Puchki and Cookie”. The illustrations show Puchki and his dog visiting Italy. In its latest edition, the cartoonist duo talks with the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. This comic strip aims to pay tribute to the 700 years of the death of the poet. The Consul General said: “The underlying concept was to use a different medium (comics) and some content, which would appeal to young audiences. Puchki is now ready to reach a wider audience and spark interest in Italian culture and way of life among people who love Italy and believe in the connection between it and this part of India.

Flip through the books at the British Council

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The British Council has participated in the Book Fair since 1983 and again this year the pavilion showcases the programs and services the institute offers to its students. Several books are displayed in the pavilion. You can flip through them if you’re interested. “Our pavilion is more than just a book fair/library stall. It is designed to be a one-stop solution for young people on their educational journey. It provides all kinds of information about opportunities to study in the UK “, said Debanjan Chakrabarti, director of the British Council. Speaking about his own journey, he added: “Personally, the Book Fair was an integral part of my childhood and also later during my university studies. to be associated with it professionally now.

Cultural activities at the Japan Pavilion


The facade of the Japan Pavilion is decorated with the pattern of cherry blossoms. “It’s flower time and we wanted to represent that,” Vice Consul Risa Tamura said. Meanwhile, Nakamura Yutaka, Consul General of Japan, said, “We established this Japan Pavilion to introduce Japanese literature and culture to the people of Kolkata. Traditional and modern Japanese cultural activities will be held daily in the pavilion, in addition to the book exhibition, including books about Japan written by Indian authors. I hope everyone will understand Japan better after visiting our pavilion, which has been decorated with cherry blossoms.

Book launches, quizzes and debates at the American pavilion

Melinda Pavek during a panel discussion on Tuesday

The American Pavilion features works by emerging and contemporary American authors. Focused on the #breakthebias theme, the pavilion has a long list of events, which are set to take place in the coming days. On Tuesday, the event kicked off with Women’s History Month programs, which saw US Consul General Melinda Pavek chat with a group of young women to discuss how to break gender bias. “I’m told it’s the largest book fair in the world in terms of attendance. Our pavilion was designed around the theme #BreaktheBias to reach and engage young people in important conversations about gender equality, inclusion and tolerance. We have a book launch, storytelling for children, quizzes and debates for high school students, a workshop on understanding LGBTQIA perspectives for college audiences, and creative work,” she said.

Highlights of the book fair

This is the 45th Book Fair. In 2021, the book fair did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Even earlier, the Book Fair was not held once, in 2008, due to environmental issues.

There are over 600 booths and pavilions set up by publishers, academic, cultural and other institutes

The fair hosts about 260 stalls of small magazines This year the children’s pavilion is named after Narayan Debnath and a tribute is paid to Buddhadeb Guha at the Shradhhargha pavilion

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