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Buenos Aires International Book Fair Celebrates 40 Years of Democracy

This year's edition, run by Fundacion El Libro, will also include literary works and authors from Santiago de Chile, which was chosen as this year's guest city of honor.
on Apr 26, 2023
Buenos Aires International Book Fair Celebrates 40 Years of Democracy

 The largest Spanish-speaking book fair in the world is getting ready to return, and this time it will celebrate four decades of democracy in Argentina. Preparations for the Feria Internacional del Libro de Buenos Aires ("The Buenos Aires International Book Fair") are underway.

The celebration will highlight "40 years of vertigo, 40 years of questioning and finding answers, and 40 years of defending" democracy, according to its organizers. 

The Book Fair, which will be held in Palermo's book-filled La Rural (or "city of books") district from April 27 to May 15, will span 45,000 square meters and feature 500 exhibits, 1500 exhibitors, and 12 rooms. 

This year's edition, run by Fundacion El Libro, will also include literary works and authors from Santiago de Chile, which was chosen as this year's guest city of honor.

The worst civic-military dictatorship was overthrown forty years ago. We left State terrorism behind, but we entered democracy bearing the scars and repercussions of a dysfunctional society and economy, said general coordinator Miguel Gaya.

"At that time, nobody would have had the guts to predict that it would endure 40 years. However, here we are. Even while it wasn't a Swiss canton democracy, it was unmistakably Argentine, Gaya continued. 

Gaya has invited specialists from different generations and fields to remark on the historic milestone in a series of seven panels in recognition of four decades of unbroken democracy. 

At a discussion on "Social and cultural reflection on 40 years of democracy" with panelists Dora Barrancos and Alejandro Horowicz, this section of the exhibition debuts on May 10 at 7 p.m.

On May 12 from 5.30 to 6.30 p.m., another panel will be held with León Carlos Arslanián, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, Guillermo Ledesma, and Jorge Valegra Aráoz – members of the 1985 court that notably condemned the leaders of the military junta that controlled Argentina during the dictatorship. 

The show will also contain work by economist Alfredo Zaiat, poet Julián Axat, journalist Néstor Restivo, and journalist Irina Hauser.

On May 13, at 7 p.m., an expert discussion on the "literary and generational map that has been taking shape, and its relationship with the book industry," with Argentine poet Guillermo Saavedra serving as the moderator, will conclude the democratic exhibition.

Martin Kohan, a professor, author, and literary critic, has been chosen to give the opening address at La Rural on April 27. 

Kohan said of his choice, "In the end, whether by writing or speaking, all we shall accomplish is put words into circulation.

In the same little pub called La Orqudea on Avenida Corrientes, where he has written every book, short story, and an essay he has written in the previous 20 years, Kohan disclosed that he intends to write his speech by hand.

Kohan claims that the fair and, by extension, his speech is just "the extension of a scheme of discussion, of exchange, of dialogue about literature."

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