Festival history

Festival History

In 2011, the International Book Arsenal Festival was held for the first time. Olga Zhuk was the first curator of the Festival, and Yulia Lesechko was its first technical director. Since then, almost half a thousand well-known international authors from more than 35 countries have been guests of the Festival’s International Program. Every year about 200 Ukrainian publishers present their publications at the exhibition-fair. Among the invited curators of the Festival’s focus theme and special programs during the previous years were Oksana Zabuzhko, Serhiy Zhadan, Andrey Kurkov, Liubov Morozova, Alla Zahaikevych and others.

In 2019 The International Book Arsenal Festival won The Literary Festival Award of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019. The winners of The London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards 2019 were announced on 12th March 2019.

5

days of the festival

35

countries during 9 years

~ 200

publishers participating in the book fair each year

15

special programs & thematic blocks

> 520

guests from different countries during 9 years

> 1000

new titles published specially for the festival

450

events each year

> 55 000

visitors

20 000 м2

of exhibition area
The International Book Arsenal Festival

an annual project of the Mystetskyi Arsenal – is an intellectual event in Ukraine, where the book, literary and artistic scenes develop and interact with each other, and important issues of human existence, as well as society and culture are raised, prompting the proactive position of the participants and visitors.

The mission of the Book Arsenal Festival

is to create such interactions between people, communities and institutions, when the combination of aesthetic experience and intellectual engagement in the context of the book enhances the ability of man and society.

The goals of the Book Arsenal Festival are as follows:
  1. To create a friendly space (offline and online) for the interaction between people, communities and institutions, and representation of the book in all its manifestations
  2. To stimulate the qualitative development and interaction of the book, literary, and artistic scenes
  3. To problematize and comprehend the important issues of man, society, and culture
  4. To integrate the Ukrainian book and literary community with the international one
  • Best
    Best Book Design III Competition Winners Awards, 2018

    Photo: Maksym Horbatsky © State Enterprise National Cultural, Artistic and Museum Complex "Art Arsenal"

  • data-src="https://book.artarsenal.in.ua/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/nagorodzhennya_1_2017_Popenko-e1618845488182.jpg"

    © State Enterprise National Cultural, Artistic and Museum Complex "Art Arsenal"

  • data-src="https://book.artarsenal.in.ua/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/TSeremoniya-nagorodzhennya_2_Pereverzev-e1618845675581.jpg"

    © State Enterprise National Cultural, Artistic and Museum Complex "Art Arsenal"

2021

After a year of pause due the COVID-19 pandemic, the Anniversary 10th International Book Arsenal Festival returned to offline format with the hashtag #дочекаємоськнижкового and the focus theme OPTIMISTS SKEPTICS. The Book Arsenal Festival brought together over 200 publishers, illustrators and cultural institutions. More than 300 events and 16 exhibitions took place within the framework of the Festival, adhering to quarantine norms. This year, the guests from other cities and countries who were not able to come to Kyiv had an opportunity to watch most of the festival events online in a free broadcast on MEGOGO.

2020

Due to the emergency situation in Ukraine caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus resulting in COVID-19, most of the Festival was not held. However, for the first time the Ukrainian Literature: Rights On! professional program took place. The program facilitated 147 B2B meetings with 38 foreigners from 24 countries and Ukrainian publishers and literary agents. The Book Pitch project was launched in 2020 by the Odessa International Film Festival and the International Book Arsenal Festival.

2019

The Literary Festival Award of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards. After winning the Best Book Design Contest, the book I See That by the Agrafka art studio won the Bronze Medal of the Stiftung Buchkunst annual book design competition "Best Book Design from all over the World", Leipzig/Frankfurt a.M., Germany.
back to 2019

2018

Creation of the first VR book in Ukraine Meeting Tukoni An enormous number of international guests – 106 authors and cultural activists from 31 countries of the world
back to 2018

2017

Birmingham Literature Festival is the guest festival
back to 2017

2016

The launch of the Best Book Design Contest For the first time, the exhibition stand of the Frankfurt Book Fair is at Book Arsenal

2015

The Independent Bookshops Congress. Program for indie publishers. The launch of the Illustrators Fair

2014

The Pastiche Project special philosophy program

2013

The White Ravens most beautiful children books exhibition

2012

New Music Festival in partnership with the UKHO music agency

2011

Start! Almost 100 participants, 30 guests from 10 countries

World stars among our guests:

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Alessandro Baricco

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Josef Winkler

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Yurii Andrukhovych

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Gérard de Cortanze

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Serhiy Zhadan

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Karl Schlögel

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Jonathan Coe

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Olga Tokarczuk

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Joseph McElroy

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Anne Applebaum

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Serhii Plokhii

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Meik Wiking

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Michael Kimmel

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Ivan Malkovych

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Sofi Oksanen

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Oksana Zabuzhko

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Rune Belsvik

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Sofia Andrukhovych

The Festival is a place for implementation of unique projects

Image to InkBox

InkBox
(2019)

Image to Veteran Tent

Veteran Tent
(2019)

Image to rozdILovI. Poetry / Music / Visualization — signs of interaction

rozdILovI. Poetry / Music / Visualization — signs of interaction
(2019)

Image to IBBY / Silent Books

IBBY / Silent Books
(2018)

Image to Meeting Tukoni

Meeting Tukoni
(2018)

Image to Metropolis. Part Utopias of the Future

Metropolis. Part Utopias of the Future
(2018)

Image to #obolonya

#obolonya
(2017)

Image to One Kilometer of Perets

One Kilometer of Perets
(2017)

Image to An Endless Journey, or the Aeneid

An Endless Journey, or the Aeneid
(2017)

  • Image to InkBox data-src=">

    interactive installation

    InkBox is a project about internal and external space we often cannot cross. The space between understanding one’s own and someone else’s boundaries. The space between the artist at the time of creating and the viewer at the time of observing. The space between the sheet of paper and the tip of a brush.

    Organized by: Sashko Komyakhov and Mystetskyi Arsenal.

    Illustrators: Anna Vitryana, Lesya Drashkaba, Mykhaylo Skopa, Katya Yatsushek, and Zakentiy Horobyov

    InkBox
    (2019)

  • Image to Veteran Tent data-src=">

    special project

     

    Literature on the current Russian-Ukrainian war written by combatants and volunteers is presented in the specially fitted military tent in the Mystetskyi Arsenal yard.

    Organized by Mystetskyi Arsenal and veteran writers, in partnership with the Ministry of Veteran Affairs of Ukraine 

    Veteran Tent
    (2019)

  • Image to rozdILovI. Poetry / Music / Visualization — signs of interaction data-src=">

    performance

     

    Participants: Olia Mykhayliuk, Serhiy Zhadan, Alexey Vorsoba, Tomasz Sikora, Serhiy Piliavets

    Organized by ArtPole

    Supported by Culture Bridges

    rozdILovI. Poetry / Music / Visualization — signs of interaction
    (2019)

  • Image to IBBY / Silent Books data-src=">

    exhibition

     

    A unique collection of “Silent Books” 2015 contains 51 books from IBBY National Sections from about twenty countries.

    Supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine

    IBBY / Silent Books
    (2018)

  • Image to Meeting Tukoni data-src=">

    multimedia project

     

    The project Meeting Tukoni is a combination of virtual reality with 360° video, animation and classical book illustration.

    Organized by Mystetskyi Arsenal, New Cave Media

    Story and illustrations by Oksana Bula

    Supported by Lucky Books and Old Lion Publishing

    Meeting Tukoni
    (2018)

  • Image to Metropolis. Part Utopias of the Future data-src=">

    exhibition

     

    Curated by Pavlo Gudimov

    Organized by Ya Gallery, Mystetskyi Arsenal

    Partner – Zabolotnyi State Scientific Library of Architecture and Construction

    With the participation of Factum Arte, Borys Yerofalov and Semen Shyrochyn

    Assistant curator – Hanna Oryshchenko

    Metropolis. Part Utopias of the Future
    (2018)

  • Image to #obolonya data-src=">

    A wall with promo posters of Ukrainian illustrators

     

    Organized by the Illustractor community

    #obolonya
    (2017)

  • Image to One Kilometer of Perets data-src=">

    exhibition

     

    Curated by Pavlo Gudimov, Diana Klochko

    Organized by Ya Gallery, Mystetskyi Arsenal

    Supported by the Yaroslav Mudryi National Library of Ukraine

    One Kilometer of Perets
    (2017)

  • Image to An Endless Journey, or the Aeneid data-src=">

    a multimedia collage based on Ivan-Yurii Andrukhovych-Kotlyarevskyi with elements of a lecture (by Yurii Andrukhovych), a concert (by Mark Tokar / Viktor Novozhylov) and a banquet (by VJ group Cube)

     

    Idea: Yurii Andrukhovych / Tetiana Teren

    Directed by Olia Mikhayliuk

    Organized by the ArtPole agency within the Festival’s focus theme Laughter. Fear. Power

    An Endless Journey, or the Aeneid
    (2017)

The Festival has its own award — the Best Book Design Contest

Since 2016, the Book Arsenal Festival, together with the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine, with the support of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Buchkunst Foundation, has been holding a competition for the best book design among the Ukrainian publishers and cultural institutions. The contest aims to talk about the publication as an art object and to develop the publishing industry in the aesthetic direction.

The award ceremony takes place at the opening of the Book Arsenal Festival, the winning publications and the publishing house’s stand are specially marked at the Festival. Each year, the publications included in the shortlist of the contest are presented within the collection The Most Beautiful Books of the World at the Frankfurt and Leipzig Book Fairs.

Read more about the сontest
Best Book Design Contest
Best Book Design Contest

© State Enterprise National Cultural, Artistic and Museum Complex "Art Arsenal"