The 2020 Göteborg Book Fair will be an action-packed book party in digital format
This year the Göteborg Book Fair in Gothenburg, Sweden, welcomes the general public and authors to Book Fair Play – a digital event for book lovers throughout the Nordic countries. The program is divided into the Bildung Hub and the Literature Festival. The focus falls on Swedish authors and this year’s Swedish publishing. Also participating from New York are, among others, Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Safran Foer and Jacqueline Woodson.
Today, the Göteborg Book Fair presents this year’s program. Since the Book Fair cannot be arranged in physical form in Gothenburg for the first time since it began in 1985, it has rapidly developed a new, online streaming service. Stretching across four days (24–27 September), 140 digital studio dialogues, led by well-knowing program leaders, will be streamed through Book Fair Play. All in all, 440 authors, researchers, journalists and specialists will participate in the program. The program will receive an additional boost with digital dialogues produced by several well-known external organisers who normally participate with comprehensive programs at the Book Fair.
“In a turbulent time like this one, we are convinced that dialogues about reading, literature and societal development mean more than ever. We have put all our energy on recasting the Book Fair into a new mould and I am proud of presenting our new service Book Fair Play – as well as the current and inspiring program that we have created together with publishers and other collaborating partners”, Frida Edman, Director of the Göteborg Book Fair says.
“The Book Fair’s seminar program is a cornerstone of public discourse in Sweden. It is a wonderful opportunity that we, through Book Fair Play and collaboration with several strong media partners, can now reach every person in the country who reads and is interested in societal issues. This year’s program highlights Swedish literature and presents deep interviews and unique meetings with major storytellers, debuting authors, investigative journalists, researchers, debaters and many others. And our New York initiative will of course add something extra”, Oskar Ekström, program director at the Book Fair says.
Book Fair Play
This year’s program for Book Fair Play is free for viewers and can be found at bokmassan.se. There, viewers can take part in all program items during the Fair. Since the broadcasts can also be viewed afterwards, you do not need to opt out of attending something in the Book Fair’s program. The dialogues will be sent and recorded at several studios without an attending audience in, among other places, Gothenburg, Malmö, Stockholm and New York.
Digital book sales
Books can also be bought at the digital Book Fair. Starting 24 September, you can click your way around at bokmassan.se to purchase the books for the correlating program item. The major Swedish book retailers Akademibokhandeln and Bokus are the exclusive sales partners this year and are offering special fair prices.
Two focuses – the Bildung Hub and the Literature Festival
Based on this year’s Swedish publishing, the Book Fair – together with publishers and collaborating partners – has created a program divided into two focuses with program tracks that will be streamed in parallel at Book Fair Play.
The Book Fair’s Bildung Hub (24–25 September) is mainly aimed at teachers, school staff and librarians, but also towards general audiences interested in societal issues. The program tracks Demokratin, Lärandet and Morgondagen [Democracy, Teaching and Tomorrow] will send studio dialogues through the Bildung Hub and go in depth into contemporary issues concerning Bildung and highlight the hottest issues for schools and libraries. Among others, you will encounter meetings between Swedish profiles Jason Timbuktu Diakité, Matilda Westerman, Elaine Eksvärd, Birgitta Ohlsson and Elin Ek in the dialogue “Böcker som ger unga kraft” [“Books that give children power”]. In the seminar “Läsning och bildning” [“Reading and Bildung”], representatives from the business sector and schools will discuss literature as a tool for strengthening the capacity for empathy: Björn Ranelid, author and teacher, meets Lars Strannegård, president of Stockholm School of Economics, Johanna Jaara Åstrand, president of Swedish Teachers’ Union, and Åsa Fahlén, president the National Union of Teachers in Sweden. Also included in the Bildung Hub are the Teachers’ Stage and Digital Culture – talk-show studio.
The Book Fair’s Literature Festival (26–27 September) consists of six program tracks: Crimetime, Hjärnan, Samtiden, Idéerna, Livet och Litterär salong [Brain, Our Age, Ideas, Life and Literary Salon]. The literature festival includes unique interviews with authors and moderated dialogues about everything from prime literary prose to popular science, biographies, feelgood lit and crime fiction. Here, great storytellers, investigative journalists, researchers and political debaters meet. For example, Majgull Axelsson, Alex Schulman, Lina Gustafsson, Gina Dirawi, Maria Gunther, Martin Hägglund and Åsa Linderborg. The literature festival also has invited in an international bonus: interviews recorded in New York, with major stars like Jacqueline Woodson, Ben Lerner, Jonathan Safran Foer, Valeria Luiselli and Salman Rushdie.
All program tracks have a media partner, which means that the program will also be sent on the media partner’s platform. This increases the reach of the Book Fair program. The Bildung Hub’s three tracks will be sent in cooperation with the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company UR. The program tracks of the Literature Festival have different media partners: Crimetime (Sydsvenskan and Helsingborgs Dagblad), Brain (Svenska Dagbladet), Our Age (Göteborgs-Posten), Ideas (UR), Life (Expressen kultur) och Literary Salon (Aftonbladet kultur).
This year’s themes
Both the Bildung Hub and the Literature Festival are permeated by this year’s themes Reading Promotion and Digital Culture.
Reading Promotion emphasises language and reading as cornerstones in democratic societies and the importance of Bildung for individuals and societal development. It puts the desire for reading in focus and gives space for all forms of reading: with eyes, ears and fingers. Here, everything is explored: from narration in text, images and oral form, to literacy, book circles, and reading aloud. The theme is arranged in cooperation with Läsrörelsen, [the Reading Movement].
Digital Culture delves into the unlimited opportunities mankind has created through technological development. When there are additional formats to choose between, more people – regardless their age and physical conditions – can take part in different stories and forms of entertainment: We can read without eyes and play football without feet. The program highlights games, e-sports, teaching, diversity and inclusion, and addresses both parents and teachers as well as the interested general public. The theme is being arranged in cooperation with Dreamhack, Göteborg & Co, Lin Education, Majblomman and Storytel.
South Africa’s participation as the theme country and honorary guest in the 2020 Book Fair has been moved forward. However, already this year, viewers can take part in the country’s poetry stage when the Global Square and Room for Poetry are sent directly from Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.
Stage dialogues with external organisers
In addition to the Book Fair’s own program, the Bildung Hub and the Literature Festival will be bolstered with a stage program produced by BonnierHoops, Folkbildningsscenen (ABF), Forskartorget [Stage for Popular Science], Globala Torget [the Global Square], Göteborgs Litteraturhus [the Gothenburg House of Literature], Lärarscenen [the Teacher’s Stage], Rum för Poesi [Room for Poetry], Rum för översättning [Room for Translation] and Se människan [Behold Man]. The dialogues will be sent from and recording at different places in Sweden and abroad.
The 2020 Book Fair will be arranged at Book Fair Play 24–27 September.