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The 71st Frankfurt Book Fair in Times of Global Change

15.10.2019 | 15:05 Clock | Culture
The 71st Frankfurt Book Fair in Times of Global Change

The 71st Frankfurt Book Fair (16-20 October 2019) takes place against the backdrop of global political and social upheavals. Concern about the state of the world in the face of an imminent climate catastrophe, but also in the face of the growing influence of anti-democratic forces, has produced a new generation of activists. This also includes committed authors whose novels, non-fiction, biographies and poetry inspire and shake people all over the world. At the same time, the data-driven digital age is reaching new dimensions: The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence and groundbreaking progress in all areas of science are harbingers of disruptive developments that herald a new chapter in the history of mankind. 

As the largest international meeting place for an industry that focuses on content, ideas and stories, the Frankfurt Book Fair takes up these developments. At the opening press conference today, Tuesday, Book Fair Director Juergen Boos appealed to the self-image of publishing in times of major change processes: It is the responsibility of the book and media industry to analyse, evaluate and critically question the paradigm shift defining the 21st century. The international publishing industry stands for a diversity of perspectives and opinions - and the preservation of this diversity must be protected. "We need writers who denounce grievances, who resist. And we need publishers who prepare these contents and find suitable formats for them. They stand for quality, care and credibility", said Juergen Boos. 

Heinrich Riethmüller, head of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, said: "The industry is aware of its important social mission. It wants to initiate and shape debates on the pressing issues of our time: globalisation and digitisation, climate and environmental protection, migration and the development of our democracies. Publishers and bookstores have succeeded in asserting themselves in the growing media competition. Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel Laureate in Literature 2018, appeared as a special surprise guest at the opening press conference of the Frankfurt Book Fair. She spoke about the political responsibility of authors. In her novels, the Polish writer deals with the aftermath of European and Jewish history, thereby triggering a controversy in her home country. Above all, however, the trained psychologist is also politically active and was a member of the editorial staff of the left-liberal magazine Krytyka Polityczna. 

With CREATE YOUR REVOLUTION, the Frankfurt Book Fair focuses on culture and makes its stages available to people who meet the challenges of our time with creative solutions and revolutionary ideas. As the backbone of society, culture conveys orientation and belonging, it provides the framework for intercultural exchange and thus for shaping a future worth living and full of hope. The initiative was developed in cooperation with the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the United Nations (UN), THE ARTS+/B3, ARTE and Spreadshop. Activists and artists such as Luisa Neubauer, Igor Levit, Ai Weiwei and many others are part of the initiative. Further information:

7,450 exhibitors from 104 countries are expected at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019. 

Further highlights of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019 

Guest of Honour Norway: "The Dream in Us" 

Cultural wealth, freedom of expression and sustainability are the core themes of the Norwegian Guest of Honour appearance in Frankfurt, which will take place under the patronage of I.K.H. Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. More than 100 Norwegian authors will present their books at the Book Fair, providing insights into Norwegian literature and society. A total of around 500 book titles - including Norwegian literature in translation and books on Norway - will be published by 217 German-language publishers by the end of 2019 (counting from autumn 2018). The exhibition "Books on Norway", organised by the Frankfurt Book Fair, shows over 650 titles from over 30 countries. The exhibition includes books by Norwegian authors in translation as well as books on Norway in various genres.

Weltempfang 2019 under the motto: "Anthropozene - the last age?" 

Glacial melting, forest fires, mountains of rubbish, microplastics: Our influence on nature is unmistakable, and that worldwide. Once at the mercy of nature, man is now the changing force on the planet. At more than 40 events on stage and in the Salon of the World Reception (Hall 4.1 B 81), the most diverse aspects of the anthropocenic theme will be highlighted. Prominent speakers from politics and culture will discuss here: Environmental activist Luisa Neubauer, Federal Chairman of Alliance 90/the Greens, Robert Habeck, sociologist and social psychologist Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer, Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth and international writers, including Maja Lunde, Elif Shafak, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, Luiz Ruffato, Gioconda Belli, Mercedes Rosende, Bonnie Greer and Patrick McGuinness. 

New Themes: Frankfurt Audio and Frankfurt Authors 

The concept of theme worlds that will be presented in 2018 with the international sections Frankfurt EDU (Halls 3.1 and 4.2) and Frankfurt Kids, the area for children's and youth media (Hall 3.1 and Foyer 5.1/6.1) was successfully introduced, will be further developed: in 2019, two new areas will be added: Frankfurt Audio (Hall 3.1) and Frankfurt Authors (Hall 3.0). 

Audio is one of the fastest growing segments in the international media industry. In the new Frankfurt Audio Area, the audio book and podcast trends can now be experienced in a central area at the trade fair. On more than 600 square metres, German-language audio book publishers can be found in Hall 3.1 alongside international streaming platforms. A top-class specialist programme for players from the publishing and audio industry will be complemented by events with well-known authors, audio book speakers and podcasters: Michael Krause from Spotify will be the keynote speaker at the Frankfurt Audio Summit. Rafik Schami, Rita Falk, Lars Amend, the author couple behind Iny Lorentz, Mieze Katz, Giuseppe di Grazia and Julian Reichelt are among those expected to attend the Frankfurt Audio Stage (Hall 3.1 L 59). Frankfurt Authors is the further development of the previous Self-PublishingArea - with a new stage, signing area, lounge as well as a specialist programme and networking events with Melanie Raabe and Sascha Lobo, among others. In addition to the presentation opportunities for authors, new features include theme days based on genres: the programme on Friday is dominated by crime thrillers, on Saturday everything revolves around romance and on Sunday the fantasy genre dominates the programme. 


Premiere for the Literaturgala of the Frankfurt Book Fair: During the BOOKFEST on Saturday, 19 October 2019 at 7 p.m., award-winning writers will gather for an international literary gala (Hall Harmonie, CMF). Margaret Atwood, Maja Lunde, Elif Shafak and Colson Whitehead, in conversation with hr presenter Bärbel Schäfer and radioeins presenter Thomas Böhm, present their new books - supplemented by German text excerpts, presented by Bela B Felsenheimer and Nina Petri. Ken Follett will also be a guest with his campaign "The Friendship Tour". 

With more than 50 events in downtown Frankfurt and just under 30 events at the Frankfurt Book Fair, BOOKFEST 2019 will present a varied programme and a wide range of events.a. with Samantha Cristoforetti, Thomas Gottschalk, Die Lochis, Nele Neuhaus, Jo Nesbø, Sophie Passmann, Peter Schilling, Rita Süssmuth, Thees Uhlmann, Max von Thun, Ulrich Wickert and Peter Wohlleben. The Frankfurt Book Fair's international festival for literature, stories and ideas offers extraordinary experiences in a special atmosphere. On all five days of the fair (16 - 20 October) he can experience the BOOKFEST Poetry Slam, tastings, parties, concerts, talks, lectures and cooking events in over 20 locations in Frankfurt city centre. 

>Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) with a new location 

The new location in the Festhalle this year presents the literary agent centre: 355 agencies and publishers from more than 30 countries are represented in the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) and the Publishers Rights Corner. The majority of the agencies represented in Frankfurt come from the USA (80 agencies) and Great Britain (67 agencies). 

Innovation and international radiance: THE ARTS+ and B3 

For the first time THE ARTS+ cooperates with the B3 Biennale of the moving image: the renowned B3 exhibition, which includes film, media, games, and technology-based installation art, will be shown at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the THE ARTS+ area (Hall 4.1) shown. Both festivals present an extensive conference and stage program. 

All further information can be found under:

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