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The Havana International Book Fair includes more than a thousand activities

Feria del libroFigures always speak for themselves. Results, proposals, ideas that sparked a project and then became a reality are measured with them. It’s easy enough to say, but to note that the 28th Havana International Book Fair, which opened its doors on February 7, offers a program of 1,300 activities speaks of an ambitious project. The varied program offers academic and artistic/literary debates, as well as the chance to dialogue with writers themselves.

The San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress is the main venue of the Fair, but it is joined by more than ten other sites, including Pabellón Cuba, the University of Havana, Casa del Alba Cultural, the José Martí National Library, UNEAC’s headquarters, the Martí Studies Center, Casa de las Américas, and the Casa de la Poesía, just to mention a few. Thus the Cuban capital is host to a festival of literature over ten days, before touring other provinces of the country.

As well as literary and academic gatherings, book, magazine and digital presentations, the Fair will see more than 15 professional events, including colloquiums on Eduardo Heras León, the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, José Martí, Human Health and the Environment, and Social Sciences; in addition to meetings of historians, creators of children’s and youth literature, editors and translators, booksellers and librarians.

Likewise, the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) will host a literary forum, while promoters of poetry and young Latin American and Caribbean writers will also meet.

At the La Cabaña Fortress, Nicolás Guillén Hall will see the presentation of the National Literature, Social Sciences, Publishing, Book Design, and Countertrend Thinking prizes, among others, and will host the “An encounter with…” space every afternoon, featuring a series of intellectual figures present at the fair.

Similarly, the “Mad Tea Party” event will take place in the Dora Alonso Hall (Pavilion K16), as well as the panel “Encounter with the Caribbean,” where publications from the region will be discussed and titles by guest authors presented.

The Digital Reading (CubaDigital Pavilion A-3) room will see presentations on the EcuRed Portable and EcuMóvil applications, as well as the panel “Digital Storytelling and Transmedia Reading,” by the University of Computer Sciences (UCI). The Editorial Futuro publishing house will present its digital products, as will the Cuban Journal of Computer Science, and the Optimize Your Web: Best Practice Manual for Website Positioning in Cuba pamphlet, produced by UCI, will be promoted.

The Professional Book Hall (Pavilion K) will welcome journalist Walter Martínez, director and host of the Dossier program, offering the lecture “Unconventional Warfare”; and the launch of the Institute of Literature and Linguistics’ Geolectal Dictionary of Cuba. Meanwhile, a panel entitled “An overview of e-book commerce in Cuba and the world” will also be held.

Among the tributes organized by the Cuban Book Institute is the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Center, directed by Eduardo Heras León, while the same institution will also hold the Mini Short Stories Dinosaur Prize award ceremony, and present El cuentero magazine.

A total of 200 representative literary and academic texts from Algeria, this year’s Guest Country of Honor, will be exhibited, relating to its history, literature and culture, as well as a series of children’s books.

A series of conferences will also feature, on the following topics: “A Review of 20th Century Algerian Literature”; “Communication on Algerian Literature”; “Multilingualism and Translation”; and “Protection of Algerian Authors’ Rights and Literature, as a Literary Challenge in a Postcolonial World.”

Photographic exhibitions and a series of Algerian films will also be screened at the Multicine Infanta Cinema, while an artistic gala was held February 8th in the Covarrubias Hall of the National Theater, featuring a performance by the Mennai band, and a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba conducted by Algerian maestro, Amir Kouider.


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