The Ukrainian Book Institute, the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine, Mystetskyi Arsenal, and the Ukrainian Institute will represent Ukraine at the world’s most significant book event, the Frankfurt Book Fair from 18 to 22 October 2023, with a joint national stand as well as separate stands.
Ukraine will participate in the fair with the slogan: Fragility of existence. The focus of the discussions will be on the topic of Ecology and War. Ukrainian authors, translators, intellectuals, and public figures will take part in the international discussion programme and Ukrainian industry programme.
About Ukrainian national stand
The Ukrainian national stand in pavilion 4.1/B 82 is organised by the Ukrainian Book Institute. The stand will feature over 500 books from 43 publishers. It will also be the venue for negotiations on the sale of rights to Ukrainian books, and all slots for meetings have already been booked.
The Ukrainian stand was made possible thanks to the large-scale support from the German Ministry of Culture and Media, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, the Embassy of Germany in Ukraine, the Embassy of Ukraine in Germany and the Consulate General of Ukraine in Frankfurt. As part of the cooperation, an industry programme called Fragility of creators and curated by the Ukrainian Book Institute and the Goethe-Institut will take place. The stand will have its own stage with events in English and German during each day of the fair.
“Russia’s cruel war against Ukraine is not only ruining our environment and our homes, but also taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. With its missiles, Russia is aiming at our identity. But we are resilient and unbreakable. Ukrainian authors are fighting on the front, volunteering and writing new books; publishers keep publishing books; and readers keep buying and reading them. We are proud to present new books by Ukrainian authors in Frankfurt. These are the efforts of dozens of people that made it possible for us to present Ukrainian books at the stand of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and of thousands of people that made it possible for Ukrainian books to be translated and published in different countries. Meanwhile, these are the efforts of millions of people that will make it possible for us to defeat the aggressor, to restore peace, democracy and justice and not to let invaders destroy our land,” says Oleksandra Koval, director of the Ukrainian Book Institute.
The Mystetskyi Arsenal, the Goethe-Institut and other Ukrainian partners also offer an international discussion programme Fragility of freedom, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. This programme aims to strengthen the resilience of Ukrainian cultural and educational partners.
“Although the explosion of the Kakhovka Dam, the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, or the targeted destruction of grain fields are widely reported in the news, we are still not sufficiently aware of how catastrophically Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine affects the ecosystem. The extent of the destruction is not yet known, but we can see how important it is to treat this issue with all seriousness. Ninety years after the Holodomor, Ukrainian grain production is again under threat; famine is being used as a weapon to awaken the Ukrainian trauma of artificially created famine. The consequences of this are now being felt all over the world. It is these urgent topics that will become the focus of our program’s discussion with famous intellectuals from Germany, Ukraine and other countries,” said Fabian Mühlthaler, director of the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine.
Among the authors and public figures who will also represent the national stand are Iryna Tsylyk, Evgenia Lopata, Maksym Yakovlev, Kateryna Mikhalitsina, Volodymyr Yermolenko, Oksana Zabuzhko, Anna Novosad, Oleksandr Mykhed, Pavlo Kazarin, Yaryna Chornoguz, Sevgil Musaeva, Svitlana Oslavska, Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, Alyona Karavai, Vakhtang Kebuladze, Kateryna Kalytko, Yuliia Kozlovets, Pavlo Goldin, Kateryna Shavanova, Tanya Piankova, Ostap Slyvinsky, Kateryna Botanova, Kyrylo Bezkorovainy and others. The full Ukrainian programme in English is available here.
Mystetskyi Arsenal stand
With the concept of Presence vs Absence, the Mystetskyi Arsenal will present its stand J103 in the Hall 3.1 of the Art Books / Art / Design exhibition area. In February 2022, the Mystetskyi Arsenal started researching the works of Ukrainian artists who in their creative activity witness and reflect on the Russia-Ukraine war from 2014 to the present moment. The collected works later became part of the Ukraine Ablaze online archive, showcasing a cross-section of current artistic practices, as well as the Ukraine Ablaze printed edition presented at the stand. The stand design features the works of Andrii Denysenko, a Ukrainian photographer, from the series Volunteers of Chernihiv Region (2022). Double exposure, used by the author as an artistic method, combines images of people and the background of destroyed buildings. These works are evidence of preservation and renovation. They reveal the invisible work of people who oppose the murderous logic of the war with their existence.
Pictoric and the International Book Arsenal Festival will present the international illustration exhibition ‘When Everything Matters’ in Agora, C11. Inspired by the focus theme of the 11th International Book Arsenal Festival, the exhibition presents new works by leading Ukrainian and international creators. This project is a dialogue of Ukrainian illustrators and graphic designers with artists from other countries and a discussion of important topics in the language of illustration. With the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office, during this year’s Buchmesse, for the second time, the Special Programme for publishers from Ukraine and neighbouring countries will be held, a professional programme launched by the Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2022 as part of the strategic partnership and in cooperation with the International Book Arsenal Festival and the Goethe-Institut Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Institute stand
The Ukrainian Institute’s stand invites to discover the diversity of the Ukrainian culture. Two multimedia projects will showcase the past and present of culture in Ukraine as well as the devastating impact of war on art. The stand is a part of the THE ARTS+ platform, which serves as a gateway between publishing and the international creative industries. The audiovisual artwork Discover Ukraine: Bits Destroyed immerses the viewer in the Ukrainian monumental art of the 1960s and 70s. More than a quarter of these works have been damaged or destroyed since the beginning of the Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Insight.UA, an English-language digital guide to Ukrainian culture, is another project that invites guests to explore Ukrainian culture through various formats – from selections of Ukrainian films, exhibitions, and books to listening to playlists or watching online courses.
The Mystetskyi Arsenal is Ukraine’s flagship cultural institution that brings together various arts — from contemporary art, new music, and theatre to literature and museum development. The mission of the Mystetskyi Arsenal is to contribute to modernization of Ukrainian society and Ukraine’s integration into the global context based on the axiological potential of culture.
The Ukrainian Institute is a state institution dedicated to spotlighting Ukrainian culture globally and nurturing profound cultural ties with other countries and peoples. Since 2017, the Institute has worked worldwide with the head office in Kyiv. In 2023, its first branches opened in Europe: Berlin, Germany, and Paris, France. The Ukrainian Institute is affiliated with Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ukrainian Book Institute is a government entity, part of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. Its mission is to shape state policy in the area of book publishing, promote book reading in Ukraine, support the book industry, provide incentives for translations and popularise Ukrainian literature abroad.
The Goethe-Institut is a cultural institution of the Federal Republic of Germany that operates worldwide. With 158 institutes in 98 countries, it promotes learning German abroad, international cultural cooperation, and the spread of a modern image of Germany. Since its foundation in 1993, the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine has become one of the most important promoters of the Ukrainian educational and cultural landscape.