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Belarusian Review

Belarusians Abroad

Belarus Represented in the World Book Fair

The latest World Book Fair was held on Sept. 25-28, 2003 in Göteborg, Sweden . The Fair - regarded as the greatest cultural event in all of Scandinavia - was initiated in 1985 and from the very beginning has combined a book exhibition with appearances by world's best writers, intellectuals, journalists and advocates of human rights. The Göteborg book fair was attended by over 110,00 visitors in four days. This year's theme was dedicated to Poland, represented by cca. 40 publishing houses and over 80 renowned and mostly young writers, poets and scholars.

Belarus was represented by the Swedish association BIELARUS, headed by Maria Söderberg - with its own auditorium and a book stand. Members of the association, with the financial support from the Swedish Institute, suceeded in a repectable represntation of Belarus. The richness of seminars on Belarusian topics equalled those presented by Baltic countries, prepared with assistance of their respective states.

Lectures on Belarus were delivered by:
- the well-known Swedish journalist S. A. Abrahamson, author of the book Belarus: 89 millimeters from Europe,
- president of the BIELARUS association, the popular Swedish photo-journalist Maria Söderberg,
- the world-famous Polish writer and traveller Ryszard Kapuscinski, author of the book The Trip to Pinsk, about his hometown,
- Stockholm historian of Belarusian descent, Dr, Andrej Katlarcuk - who presented his new book Swedes in the History and Culture of Belarusians,
- the Swedish poetess of Belarusian descent, Ms. Ina-Linga Lindquist,
- former resident of Miensk, and currently a Swedish playwright, Dzmitry Plaks (his latest play will be staged by the Kupala National Theater in Miensk),
- the Swedish journalist Tobias Lungval, author of the new book on Belarus in Swedish: Control: a Report from Belarus,
- poet and documentalist from Miensk, Ihar Palevikou,
- chairwoman of the Pinsk non-governmental organization KALEGIUM, Ms. Nadzia Ausijevic ( on the topic of Sexual Trade with Women; the Belarusian side of the problem)
Dzmitry Plaks and Ina-Linga Lindquist recited their own poems in the well-attended "Hall of Poetry." The winner of the "Youth Poetry Cup," organized in Pinsk by the Swedish association BIELARUS in spring of 2003 ,
17year-old Volha Panasiuk., also read her lyric and philosophical poems in Belarusian. They were translated into Swedish by Mr. D. Plaks , and evoked interest of the public.
Messrs. Katlarcuk and Abrahamson organized an interesting panel discussion on the topic of common aspects of Belarusian and Swedish history.
Ms. Maria Söderberg invited the public to a Belarusian refreshment table, where they had the opportunity to view her slides of Belarusian Palessie, and purchase Swedish and Belarusian publications.
The Belarusian section of the Fair also provided shelter for the Russian writer Tattiana Tolstaja and her Indian colleague Vandan Shiva, whose countries had no separate facilities.

This article appeared in
Belarusian Review, Vol. 15, No 4
Copyright 2003 Belarusian Review
All rights reserved.

Andrej Katlarcuk

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