Press Release: Opening of the 68th Frankfurter Buchmesse
FRANKFURT — October 18, 2016 — Superimposing cultural and political viewpoints, revealing their differences and the things they have in common and, above all, organising the creative reinterpretation at the points of crossover – these are the most important tasks of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. Nowhere else in the world do so many different ideas intersect in just one short week. “As the biggest international trade fair for content, the Frankfurter Buchmesse is the place where the complexity of an increasingly networked world most clearly exhibits its fragmentary, but also highly diverse, nature,” said Juergen Boos today at the opening press conference for the Frankfurter Buchmesse. “This curiosity, the ongoing search for a new perspective on things (the bigger picture) is personified in our special guest, the artist David Hockney.” On the Wednesday of the fair, Hockney will join in the opening of THE ARTS+, a new space at the Frankfurter Buchmesse dedicated to networking and trade in creative content.
Furthermore, this year’s Book Fair provides a platform for authors such as Timothy Garton Ash, Mathias Énard, Ian Kershaw, Herfried Münkler, Boualem Sansal and Elif Shafak, who are looking for answers to the urgent political and social questions of today. Migration and integration as challenges facing Western Europe; the impact of European history on the present-day; the serious threats to freedoms of speech and opinion in many countries; the relationship between Europe and the predominantly Islamic regions: these are just some of the topics that will be addressed during the five days at the “Weltempfang”, the cultural-political stage of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. “These authors spend years of their lives examining the phenomena of our age and explaining particular global events,” said Juergen Boos. “Their works help us to make sense of the contemporary world. The Frankfurter Buchmesse supports authors, publishers and journalists in their work by establishing structures and networks, and giving them a platform.”
Also at the opening press conference was Heinrich Riethmüller, President of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. He said that “in our times of division, dissent and confrontation, it is important for the book and media industry to perform its role. Now, more than ever, society needs strong and independent communicators of ideas, who are able to question and analyse the information and events. Books underpin the spread of knowledge, stories and experiences. Never have book people and cultural professionals been more important than they are today.”
Europe will also be an important topic during the opening ceremony of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, where Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, is expected as the political speaker. Moreover, with Flanders and the Netherlands as Guest of Honour, a language and cultural area at the very heart of Europe will be presenting itself.
Besides the political and societal debates, and the latest industry issues such as copyright reform, the 68th Frankfurter Buchmesse will shine a spotlight on art and artists. “More intensively than ever before, we’ll be addressing the question of how creative people – the originators of intellectual property – can live from their work,” said Juergen Boos. “What business models are needed, what regulations and laws? And what networks exist to facilitate exchanges internationally? These are the topics on the agenda this year in our new project, THE ARTS+.”
THE ARTS+ is taking place for the very first time from 19 to 23 October, during the Frankfurter Buchmesse. With a day-long conference (Wednesday, 19 October) and a five-day trade fair (Hall 4.1), THE ARTS+ offers the ideal context for discussing digitisation as an opportunity, and for launching new business models in the cultural and creative industries. Using artificial intelligence to develop content; harnessing 3-D printing for architecture and fashion; virtual reality applications in museums or town planning; digital marketplaces for creative products: these are just a few examples of how new technologies can be integrated into cultural sectors.
In total, more than 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries are expected at the 68th Frankfurter Buchmesse, from 19 to 23 October 2016. It is therefore around the same size as last year’s book fair. There are about 4,000 events listed in the Calendar of Events. This year’s Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) has announced record attendance figures: over 700 agents and scouts will be in Frankfurt, representing 300 literary agencies from 33 countries. The children’s and young adult book segment is a growing area for the Frankfurter Buchmesse, as it is in book markets around the world. For this reason, a new international area has been created covering the hall-levels 5.1 and 6.1. Here, around 300 children’s and young adult book publishers will present their wares on a space of 4,000 square metres. Meanwhile, at the Frankfurt Hot Spots, the Book Fair’s showcases for technology and digital innovation, some 90 exhibitors from 26 countries will demonstrate their products. In all, visitors can see 170 events and presentations on the four Hot Spot stages.
About the Frankfurt Book Fair
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair — with 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 275,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists — including 2,000 bloggers – in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurt Book Fair organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurt Book Fair offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. www.book-fair.com