Cultural festival and political debate

With more than 360 thousand visitors, the Rosario International Book Fair closed its most massive edition to date, a record that could be seen in the immense lines to sign copies or enter the talks and tributes, and in the high sales that grew by 40 percent over the previous year and that positioned the event as a cultural party, without abandoning the social, political and environmental scene as the inaugural speech of Claudia Piñeiro denouncing the “ecocide” suffered by the wetlands of the Paraná Delta and that does not allow Rosario to breathe.

This year the agenda of the fair, which has already held 24 editions, has become prolific and heterogeneous with an average of 25 activities per dayin which from the different rooms of the Fontanarrosa Cultural Center and through activities embodied by local and national literature figures, crowded tables and talks were held on the World Cup, the defense of wetlands, the self-help genre, politics, theater and feminism

With 57 bookstore and publishing stands, 300 writers and intellectuals guests and an extended venue that included large outdoor spaces, all with free admission, the “festival of letters from Rosario” gathered more than 360,000 visitors, doubling the previous calls, which marks a milestone in its history.

The massive influx of the public was reflected in many of the tributes and talks in which the 400-seat tent was overwhelmed and hundreds of readers had to follow the activities from a giant screen located in the courtyard of the fairgrounds, which became in an improvised auditorium, where from the ground and with drinks and snacks, no visitor missed the daily agenda of the fair.

The talks of Pedro Saborido, Rep, María de los Ángeles “Chiqui” González, Cecilia Ce, Samanta Schweblin (via streaming), the theater performance by Luis Machín and tributes to Gerardo Rozín, Angélica Gorodischer, Juan Forn and Roberto Fontanarrosa They were the most convening events, according to the organizers. Also authors of notorious popularity such as the journalist charlie lopez -author of the book “We are what we say”- and the writer Camila Sosa Villada they spent about 5 hours signing books and welcoming their readers, who lined up for several blocks to meet them in person, take selfies, and hand out souvenirs and gifts.

The interventions of the psychoanalyst Luciano Lutereau and the writer and journalist Reynaldo Sietecase they also had an unexpected call for the organization and more than half of the spectators were left without a place in the theaters.

In terms of registered sales, publishers and booksellers estimated that they sold between 30 and 40 percent more than in 2018 and they agreed that they are encouraging numbers “in a difficult economic context, with increases in the prices of books and materials such as paper.” In this sense, the organizers promoted agreements with different banks to generate financing options and discounts of up to 30 percent on purchases at bookstore stands and publishers.

Although the figures are not definitive, the stand that sold the most for its “varied offer” and its “competitive prices” was that of the National Library (BN), which in its first participation in the Rosario fair had to renew stock for the great demand for their editions.

The coordinator of the Fair, Marcelo Scalona, ​​told Télam that “the number of people who passed through the venue exceeded expectations and since this is also an industry fair and sales were very good, we are more than happy.”

“We wanted it to be a celebration of the book but also of the Rosario culture. That the visitors entered to meet the writers, their books, and that when they left they found a whole wide cultural proposal. There were people who thought that this type of event could not happen in Rosario, due to the stigma of violence and insecurity, but it was shown that popular events are welcomed by the people of Rosario who enjoy appropriating public space,” he said.

Referring to the opening speech given by Claudia Piñeiro, he revealed that “there was some mistrust when choosing her, some resentment about what she might say, and I made the decision as director because I was sure of her great prestige and her ability to talk to us about literature from his political position”.

“Claudia remembered, like (Guillermo) Saccomanno in La Rural, the need for the professional writer who is a worker and who must get paid,” Scalona recovered and, in turn, considered that the writer “focused on one of the most dramatic events in the region such as ecocide” and assured that “two days after his speech we had retaliation with the resurgence of the burnings that were among the worst in the last three years”.

The opening by the author of cathedrals it had a strong political tone in a broad sense of the word and it opened up in a racconto for the laws that have been waiting for 10 years in Congress to be sanctioned. From then on, the fair was marked by his words and during the ten days that the event lasted, the four screens distributed by the Fontanarrosa Cultural Center showed legends such as: “Enough burning”, “We want to breathe” and “Wetlands Law Already”.

Source: Pagina12

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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