Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) The annual Frankfurt Book Fair opened Wednesday with the participation of publishing houses from countries around the world, including 92 from Taiwan, and words of support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion.
At the opening ceremony, Taiwan’s representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) likened the bond between writers and readers to the solidarity between Taiwan and Ukraine.
While the two nations do not have official diplomatic relations, their solidarity is evident in the cooperation between Locus Publishing Co. of Taiwan and Ukraine’s largest book-selling platform Yakaboo, Shieh said.
In September, Locus published a Mandarin translation of “In These, We Believe,” a collection of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speeches.
At the Frankfurt Book Fair, Locus Chairman Rex How (郝明義) was invited to speak at the Ukrainian Pavilion about trans-national cooperation.
Prior to the opening of the book fair, its president and CEO Juergen Boos said that in a show of support for Ukraine, the fair was “suspending cooperation” with the Russian state authorities organizing the collective pavilion for the Russian community living in the German Rhine-Main region.
The book fair will continue to theoretically admit individual stands by Russian publishers, according to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which noted that those exhibitors may be hampered by sanction measures such as restrictions on payment transactions and air travel.
Meanwhile, 451 titles by the 92 Taiwan publishers at the fair are being displayed at the Taiwan pavilion in the Asian, Comic, and THE ART+ sections, according to a press release issued by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA).
The displays include award-winning titles, comic books and graphic novels, which have the potential to be translated for foreign markets, as well as interdisciplinary intellectual property works that have been performing well over the past few years, the TAICCA said.
The agency’s CEO Izero Lee (李明哲) said that in keeping with universal values, Taiwanese writers and publishers enjoy freedom, which has contributed greatly to Taiwan’s success in the international book market.
At the Taiwan pavilion, several different events will be staged, including a “Taiwan Story Salon” featuring authors Natalie Chang (張亦絢) and Chen Po-ching (陳栢青), among others, and a “Comic Concert & Happy Hour” at which illustrator Animo Chen (阿尼莫) and cellist Kuo Che-wei (郭哲維) will perform.
The Frankfurt Book Fair, known as Frankfurter Buchmesse in German, was first held in 1949 and is now the largest of its kind in the world.
It is being held Oct. 19-23 this year, with the participation of more than 5,000 international exhibitors.
(By Wang Pao-er and Chao Yen-hsiang)
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