Brazil Stars at the Bogota International Book Fair

BOGOTÁ, COLUMBIA: This April, Brazil was the guest of honor at the 25th Feira Internacional do Livro de Bogotá (FILBO, Bogota International Book Fair). According to Enrique González Villa, president of the Colombian Book Chamber — organizer of the fair — “this was the most successful participation on the part of a guest of honor since the program was created 20 years ago.”

The Brazilian pavilion was a 3,000-square-meter area, created by Daniela Thomas, Felipe Tassara and Álvaro Razuk, which received about 300,000 visitors, of the 450,000 total who visited the fair. Also according to Enrique González, this attendance was far greater than typical in previous years: “Usually the guest of honor’s pavilion draws less than half of the visitors at the fair, but Brazil got more than 65% of the visitors.” He adds: “This was the most visitors the book fair has ever had, and we believe that was in large part due to Brazil’s special presence, since it received good coverage in the local media.”

The fair held 70 events and discussions with 55 Brazilian authors, including the writer Nélida Piñon in the opening session and the biographer Fernando Moraisat the fair’s closing event. There were also other cultural events promoted by Brazil in Bogota, like film festivals, and music and dance performances.

Biographer Fernando Morais with his subject Paulo Coelho

Last Sunday, a collection of Brazilian authors’ stories, called Ficciones desde Brasil, was released in the series Libros al Viento, produced by the Cultural Department of Bogota. The book includes works by classic authors such as Machado de Assis, Lima Barreto, Graciliano Ramos, Clarice Lispector, Rubem Fonseca and Dalton Trevisan, as well as contemporary authors that were featured at the fair, including Piñon, Marina Colasanti, Adriana Lunardi and Tabajara Ruas. The series is distributed for free by the government and the Brazilian volume was distributed in a print run of 10,000 copies. The book’s great success has caused the series’ organizers to consider producing further volumes on Brazilian literature.

According to the Brazilian participants, 6,500 Brazilian books were sold at the pavilion’s bookstore, and the best-selling authors at the fair were the classics: Clarice Lispector, Guimarães Rosa and Jorge Amado.

The writer and literature teacher Guiomar de Grammont oversaw the Brazilian program at the book fair, and the pavilion was organized by Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (FBN, Brazilian National Library), Ministério da Cultura (MinC, Ministry of Culture), Ministério das Relações Exteriores (MRE, Ministry of International Relations), the Câmara Brasileira do Livro (CBL, Brazilian Book Chamber) and Fundação Nacional do Livro Infantil e Juvenil (FNLIJ, National Foundation for Children’s and Young Adult Books) together.

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