Bildung and Finland in focus

“Bildung and Cultivation” will be the main theme for the 2017 Göteborg Book Fair. Finnish literature will also play a prominent part in conjunction with Finland’s centennial as an independent nation.

What does Bildung 2017 mean? This question will be the starting point for the theme of the upcoming Book Fair.

“Bildung is a subject that ties into our most important task: to spread knowledge of, and interest in, reading and literature, both to the general public as well as to all those who work with inspiring, guiding and educating others. The concept has many layers of meaning. Yet regardless of how you delineate the concept, there are a few intrinsic elements that are always implied when you think of Bildung today: language, reading and literature”, says Daniel Levin, program director at the Book Fair.

2017 also marks 500 years since Martin Luther formulated the theses which became fuel on the fire of the Protestant Reformation. It became a process which has since influenced European history and, together with the printing press, provided the stimulus for extensive changes to the body of knowledge: literacy rates surged and knowledge was democratised. Next year the Swedish Church will play a leading role as a collaborator in drawing up the Book Fair program. Moreover, the Swedish Church will also have their own, new stage with a special program about Bildung and the Reformation.

Additional collaborators will be added in future and the question about what Bildung is today will be highlighted from several different perspectives.

Finland – 100 years
2017 also marks one hundred years since Finland became an independent nation. This is a centennial to be observed by creating a broad platform for Finnish literature at the Book Fair.

“Our ambition, in honour of the centennial, is to provide a broad picture of Finnish literature and present a number of new names at next year’s Book Fair. We also hope to be able to contribute to the theme of ‘Bildung’. International studies show that Finns are one of the world’s top reading-nations and that the country has a unique library system”, says Anders Eriksson, director of the Finland Institute, the Book Fair’s main collaborator on the theme “Finland – 100 years”.

Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre and a number of other participants will also contribute to the theme.