Today marks the first day of Bogota’s annual International Book Fair (FILBO). The festival will run for two weeks between April 29 and May 12, and takes place in Corferias, a large convention centre in the neighbourhood of Quintaparedes (Corferias address: Cra. 37 #24-67). Since the fair began in 1988 it has risen steadily in popularity, and it is estimated that somewhere in the region of 450,000 people will attend FILBO 2014.
Every year the fair nominates a different country as the guest of honour, and this year the privilege belongs to Peru. There will be special exhibitions highlighting the countries’ cultural and literary history and contributions; not only that, but legendary Nobel Prize winning author, Mario Vargas Llosa, will be present, representing his country.
The fair will also, following his sad death earlier this month, serve as a literary tribute to perhaps Latin America’s most well-known author, Colombia’s own Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The country has been hosting public readings of his novella, Nobody Writes to the Colonel, since he died, and the International Book Fair will continue this tribute, with a special area of Corferias set aside to remember Gabo, with places to pay personal tribute, and public readings of his most celebrated works.
The fair is an essential event in Bogota’s cultural calendar: the vast majority of the countries’ publishers are represented, and exhibitors from hundreds of countries will be in Corferias. It is a truly international event, and it’s popularity is yet more evidence of Colombia’s growing reputation as a country of culture. Bogota now hosts some of the region’s largest literary, theatre and music festivals: it truly is developing into an important Latin American cultural centre.
See Colombia will be heading down to Corferias for the International Book Fair 2014 this Saturday. Come and join us and celebrate the magic of literature (and if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, we hear the Peruvians are planning a special food area…).