May 16, 2022

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“No event is expected so much this year”: Infobae Bogotá speaks to Andrés Sarmiento, director of the International Book Fair

(Personal file).

Today, April 19, the Bogot International Book Fair (FILBo) begins. South Korea will be its guest country at the event, which will commemorate 60 years of bilateral relations between the two countries, co-ordinating among publishers, artists, writers, cultural and literary actors under the concept of “coexistence”. .

Two years later, due to the Govt-19 epidemic, FILBo went live and returned to Corferias under the slogan “Come back, so you can come back”. This edition of the book fair will feature cultural performances, speeches and a variety of book launches. In addition, different writers and publishers will present their new challenges within the framework of this literary meeting.

This was without a doubt a challenge to the book industry as a whole and to the festival organizers. Infobae spoke with Andrés Sarmiento, director of the Bogotá International Book Fair, about what people can expect from this new edition and the challenges in implementing it. Charmiento, who was the director of the Empty Book Fair last year, suggested, among other things, that one of the races this year was to take the house out the window. “It’s fair to reunite. People deserve it.”

(Personal file).
(Personal file).

After running a book fair for almost two years, what is the challenge of making a face-to-face visit?

The main challenge of this edition of FILBo is undoubtedly the re-emergence of an event that grew rapidly until 2019, when, apparently and fortunately the world was plunged into uncertainty by an epidemic that was soon declining in recent weeks. Holding the event in the midst of the economic recovery of some of the actors in the publishing industry, some sponsors, among other exhibitors, are making extra effort to structure the budget. The height of the return to presence and the expectations of our great public.

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In past editions, the show was marked by a crowd caused by certain points on the schedule. How is planning going to avoid it and what is the security for participants to attend Corferias?

Corferias is certified as one of the nation’s leading survival scenes. Apart from this, outdoor arenas were built with adequate height and ventilation for the maintenance and convenience of the public. In addition, it is planned to control the capacity, lines and flow within the exhibition grounds so that there is more agility and an attempt is made to balance the programming phase so as not to exceed certain events that are considered blockbusters.

How, from the exhibition, can the consumption of books published by independent publishers be encouraged and encouraged?

This is one of the biggest challenges, one of our biggest aspirations, and it depends on the resources gained through sponsorships and strategic planning on both sides. This support should be implemented year-round, routinely and permanently, with a policy of expressing strong visibility and integration of public and private support in digital channels and press communication.

Which line would you like to print with your new address?

FILBo would like to continue to integrate itself as a national project: to diversify and integrate efforts with legitimate projects in different cities so that the forecasts of exhibitors, editorial projects, writers and writers and general themes are strong and integrated. Editorial offer and access to a large number of readers. In short, take FILBo to a better part of the country and bring the country closer to Bogota.

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What is the significant difference between what you experienced as the head of FilCali and what you now experience in Bogot?

They are two different events. Bogotá establishes itself as a platform for publishing business, entrepreneurship and career growth. It is the product of many years of work and organization that stands out among other competitions in the country and in Latin America.

You have worked in publishing companies and played a character like Enrique Rojo. How do you combine these features with your current character?

I have been in the publishing industry for fifteen years and I live fairly from different shores. In this sense, I try to give extra value to the attention of exhibitors, editors and above all to the readers and people who live the experience of the exhibition. I consider it valuable and fortunate to try to enrich this exhibition by enjoying it from all areas.

(Courtesy: Colombian Book Chamber).
(Courtesy: Colombian Book Chamber).

As a director, what does FilBo offer today compared to other book fairs on the continent?

After Guadalajara, FILBo continues to be the most solid project in our language at the cultural, economic and social level. The Colombian Book Chamber and Corferrias bring together the cast of the publishing industry that makes this project possible and show that the collaborative work will allow it to continue to improve.

How many people make this event possible? What does it take to create a book fair like this?

Behind the FILBo are hundreds of people, including exhibitors, organizers, sponsors and the general public. Requires a significant collection, a large format event and a reasonable ground suitable for the size of a public-private partnership. An entire city and a nation are committed to making this possible.

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What can people expect from this version of the comeback? Why would it be different?

They can expect an exciting encounter. Necessary and urgent conversations about what is happening in the country and in the world. Some books that have been waiting more than two years. It will be different because no event is expected this year.

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