The book festival arrives in Medellín: programming and guests

This September 9 begins the 16th edition of the Medellin book and culture festival at the Botanical Garden. After having restrictions due to the pandemic generated by covid-19, the activities will return to the north of the city where Portugal will be the guest country. There will be more than 3,000 literary, cultural and artistic events with free admission.

The programming will run until the 18th of this month and will tour the spaces surrounding the central site, as has happened in previous versions where there were no capacity limitations. There are events at Parque Explora, Parque de los Deseos, Casa de la Música, Center for the Invocation of the Master and the University of Antioquia.

Among the events, the presentation of the writers Mario Mendoza, Camila Sosa VilladaMafalda Milhões, José Luís Peixoto and Luís Cardoso, among others. A space will also be set aside to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prize winner for literature, José Saramago, throughout the reading season.

In the theme “Time to imagine”, the Viva Reading Garden strip stands out and its more than 1,700 reading promotion workshops aimed at early childhood, boys, girls and students from different educational institutions in Medellín and other regions of the country who want to to enjoy.

There will be a storytelling, afternoon talks, book launches, a children’s and youth book fair, a comic book and illustration fair, a new reading room and other proposals such as the orality festival that is part of the strategies of the events of the book.

The artistic program includes the musical group led by the twin sisters Las Áñez, Rumos Ensemble (Portugal), Yoav Eshed Jazz Masterclass (Israel), School Mc, El Águila Descalza and other artistic proposals.

For this edition there will be 160 exhibitors in the trade show, who will offer the most recent literary titles on the market, as well as the most read books, comics, illustrated literary products and fanzines. Last year, in the 15th edition, 161,000 books were sold for a value of 5,900 million pesos.

“The bookstores that are going to be there, that before being competitors are colleagues, we fight for the same thing, which is to expand reading and for the book to reach everyone in a country that really needs it,” said Ricardo López, one of entrepreneurs who will be at one of the local exhibitions of the word.

After returning to presence in 2021, the Botanical Garden welcomed more than 140,000 attendees in the 15th edition of the Medellin book and culture festival. However, People who wish to visit the fair do not need to register in advance. However, the workshops do have a capacity established by the Ministry of Culture.

All the activities, bands and scenarios will be available at fiestadellibroylacultura.com.

The controversy

In the midst of preparing for the book fair, a rumor gained strength where he realized that the event was not going to take place this year because it did not have approved resources. The rain of criticism was immediate, nor was the response from the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle, who downplayed the comments.

“Some people tried to make the administration look bad by saying that the Book Festival was not going to take place. Not only will it be done, but it will be done very well. Many say that resources have been lowered, but they do not take into account that in 2020 we were locked up and, despite everything, this administration was the only one in Latin America that held a book party,” said the president.