LONDON — The publishing world descended on London from April 8th to 10th with exhibitors from around the world discussing and negotiating contracts on a global scale and for the second consecutive year, the Armenians were represented in a unique formula under the banner of the Armenian Pavilion incorporating authors and publishers from Armenia and the Diaspora.
After a difficult start to this journey and with no funds allocated, it required imagination, coordination and the fortitude to see the bigger picture. The Armenian Pavilion would not have been repeated, were it not for the generosity of Mr. Raffi Tanielian and his sister Nyree who funded a very large proportion of the project. The Tanielian family have supported many projects in the British Armenian community and to whom a debt of gratitude is certainly owed. With contributions also from the Benlian Trust, Armenian Relief Society (London) and individual members of the community the project finally came to life.
In recognising the importance of the Pavilion at the London Book Fair, Raffi Tanielian helped propagate Armenian literature on a prestigious global platform by giving the Armenian Pavilion committee the ability to concentrate on the core work needed to create the Pavilion.
Comparative to last year’s twelve registered exhibitors, this year the Pavilion registered thirty-three exhibitors from Armenia, France, Germany, Lebanon, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. For the first time at any exhibition, the Pavilion was graced by the attendance of Hrant Dink Foundation and Aras Publishing House from Istanbul, who have promised to return next year. Also important to the British Armenian community was the participation of Rouben Galichian and making a debut Ara Sarafian with the Gomidas Institute, the Pavilion was enriched with their magnificent books. Click here to see the full list of exhibitors: http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en/Exhibitors/254578/Armenian-Community-Council-of-the-United-Kingdom
Of course whilst the Armenian Pavilion Committee headed by Charle Malas convenes annually for the sole purpose of the Pavilion, it owes a debt of gratitude to the Armenian Embassy in London and the Armenian Community Council of the United Kingdom for their support, but particularly the Embassy for liaising with the Ministry in Yerevan and hosting the special visit by the Deputy Minister of Culture Nerses Ter-Vardanyan.
The Pavilion exhibited a very rich array of books in all categories with significant interest of visitors from around the world, which included many from Turkey – perhaps breaking down the barriers at a literary level is one of the many ways available at our disposal. However, a lot of the buzz that surrounded the Pavilion is also thanks to one of the exhibitors from Armenia the “1st Armenian Literary Agency”, that had arranged the majority of their meetings to take place at the Pavilion, thus significantly adding to the attraction of the stand and the books on display. Interestingly, there was serious interest from the Frankfurt Book Fair organisers who requested for this formula to be exported and used at the exhibition over there.
One of the highlights for the Pavilion during the fair was the surprise visit by former Minister of Economy and Finance of Romania Varujan Vosganian. A politician, economist, essayist and a poet, Mr. Vosganian is a published author and hopes to exhibit his books at the Pavilion in next year’s London Book Fair.
The London Book Fair is an important and prestigious event in the publishing calendar. It resonates literary wealth and global exposure. It is considered as the second most important book fair after Frankfurt, which is the world’s largest. The purpose of the Armenian Pavilion is to share with the world the Armenian culture, literature, history and the truth through books and through our authors and writers who have been scribbling away in the shadows for far too long. It is up to the Armenian Communities around the world to work collectively and give our publishers, authors and writers the platform to launch into the global markets. See you in 2015.
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Publishers, authors and booksellers interested in participating at the Armenian Pavilion 2015 please write to [email protected]