On the afternoon of the last day of the fair, the Guest of Honour Slovenia said good-bye with the traditional presentation of the GuestScroll to Italy, Guest of Honour at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2024 (16-20 October 2024).
Participants in the ceremony included Katja Stergar, Director of the Slovenian Book Agency (JAK), and Mauro Mazza, Extraordinary Commissioner of the Italian Government, as well as Slovenian author Dušan Jelinčič and Italian writer Ilaria Tuti (via video message). Musical accompaniment by renowned Italian violinist Francesca Dego rounded off the event.
In summary, a positive Guest of Honour experience
Since Slovenia received the GuestScroll from Spain in October 2022, Slovenian authors, poets, philosophers, artists and musicians and their work have been presented at numerous events in the German-speaking world. Some 100 Slovenian books have been published in German and numerous titles in other European languages since the Guest of Honour project began.
The international exhibition “Books on Slovenia”, which was shown at the fair, included about 400 works. The Guest of Honour Pavilion proved to be a crowd-puller at the fair, with its more than 70 events featuring authors, poets and intellectuals from Slovenia and the world of international publishing. Thanks to its two hive-like auditoriums and sustainable architecture, the pavilion brought not only the Guest of Honour motto “Honeycomb of Words” but also the Slovenian landscape to the fairgrounds. During the fair, numerous readings, philosophical debates and exhibitions took place in the city, along with an exclusive concert by the band Laibach.
Taking stock of the event, the Guest of Honour drew a positive balance. “We are very pleased to have used such an extensive programme to present Slovenian culture to the German-speaking and international audience in Frankfurt,” Katja Stergar said. “Participating in the Guest of Honour project was like a roller coaster ride with all its ups and downs. But you are never alone, there is always a helping hand, a word of encouragement and a smile from someone providing support. The Guest of Honour pavilion and the events with all the authors on the fairgrounds and beyond attracted a great deal of interest. Today I am delighted to present the GuestScroll to our neighbour Italy, since I know that our story will continue to be told next year, thanks to the Slovenian minority living there.”
Handover to Italy
Commenting on the handover of the GuestScroll from Slovenia to Italy, Mauro Mazza, said: “Between our two countries there is not only a geographical proximity but also a cultural closeness, despite the beauty of their respective differences. This event offered us the opportunity to celebrate the value of proximity in the name of literature.”
Italy will present its literature and culture at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2024 under the motto “Roots in the Future”. Events, exhibitions and concerts are also planned in Frankfurt and throughout Germany.