Kolkata, 28 November 2017:
Greetings from the Publishers and Booksellers Guild – organizers of the world’s largest attended book fair, the International Kolkata Book Fair! The 42nd edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair is set to start within 2 months from now. As per the International Book fair calendar it will be open to all from 31st January, 2018 till 11th February, 2018. The fair will be inaugurated on 30th January, 2018 in the presence of our Chief Guest, Honourable Chief Minister of West Bengal, Smt. Mamata Banerjee and other dignitaries.
You all will be very glad to know that last year in spite of all the evils of demonetization, 2 million book lovers visited the fair and books worth Rs. 21 crores were sold. You might be able to recall the year 2009, when our favourite International KBF was moved to the under prepared Milan Mela Ground and how big a challenge it was for us to make the Fair successful. However with the love and support of book lovers, the Kolkata Book Fair became immensely successful at the Milan Mela. This year we again have a new address for the IKBF and corresponding new challenges.
The Milan Mela Complex is going to be renovated thoroughly and a new international fair complex, as conceptualized by our Hon’ble Chief Minister will be created there. Our Hon’ble Chief Minister has therefore suggested the Central Park Mela Grounds as the new venue for the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair 2018. Although this ground is slightly smaller than Milan Mela, the infrastructure, accessibility and other logistics are all at par with Milan Mela and hence we have unanimously decided on Central Park Mela Ground as the best alternative to Milan Mela. We would specially like to mention the all-out cooperation and support from our Hon’ble Minister Shri Firhad Hakim and the Hon’ble Mayor of Salt Lake, Shri Sabyasachi Dutta. Under their supervision the entire area will have a total facelift within the 3rd week of December. We sincerely believe that with the
inspiration of Hon’ble Chief Minister and with the support of Hon’ble Minister and Hon’ble Mayor And the love of the book lovers, the Book Fair at Central Park will be immensely successful.
The Focal Theme of International Kolkata Book Fair this year will be France – the centre of culture of Europe. This will be France’s 3rd appearance as Focal theme country at the IKBF. This year on the occasion of the 70th year of the Indo-France diplomatic relationship, the cultural wing of the French Embassy is organizing the Bonjour India Festival in selected cities of India. The Bonjour India festival will start at Jaipur and its closing ceremony will be held at the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair.
We have with us today Mr Damien Syed, Hon’ble Consul General of France in Kolkata. He will apprise you in brief about the participation of France at the International Kolkata Book Fair 2018. The detailed information about their participation will be provided in the next Press Conference. Just to inform you that the grand pavilion of France in combination with their literature, culture, films and songs, will be a big attraction @ the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair. The international complex will also have the presence of UK, USA, Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam, 11 Latin American countries and Bangladesh.
Publishers from the States of India like Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Nagaland, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Telengana, Odisha will also be an integral part of the event.
Another important highlight of the Book Fair — 5th Kolkata Literature Festival (KLF) will be held From 8 to 10 February. It will be a collaboration of distinguished writers, directors, historians, authors, theatre personalities, ports personalities, celebrities, film personalities and poets having national and international fame. The days will observe many engrossing sessions, panel discussions on literature, film, drama, music, dance, and many more.
The International Kolkata Book Fair 2018 will be open from 12.00 P.M to 8.00 P.M on all days.
The Press Club of India, New Delhi 8 January 2018:
The countdown has begun for the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair 2018 — the largest attended book fair of the world and recognized by International Publisher Association, Geneva. Only 22 days are left before the yearly grand celebration of literature and culture in the city of joy. The fair is to be held from 31 January to 11 February.
You are possibly aware that as the Milan Mela Complex – the previous venue of the event is undergoing renovations, the upcoming International Kolkata Book Fair has to be staged in the Central Park Mela Complex. As far as the logistics and communication is concerned, the Central Park Complex is obviously a better option than the present Milan Mela complex but the total area was smaller than it. We, the organisers, were worried as to how the huge number of participants from the state, country and abroad can be accommodated in this venue, and how the venue can bear the pressure of millions of book lovers. We are extremely happy to apprise you that by the initiative of Government of West Bengal under the leadership of our Hon’ble Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee the problem has been resolved, and an approximate additional 4.5 acres of land has been acquired, developed, illuminated and beautified for this great event of the country.
We have already announced with great pride and pleasure that FRANCE, the country of literature and culture is the Focal Theme Country of the International Kolkata Book Fair 2018. It is also to be noted that France is the only country in the 4 decades’ history of the Kolkata Book Fair, who is participating for the third time as the Partner Country here. In 1997, Kolkata Book Fair became truly International with France, inaugurated by Jaques Derrida, then again in 2005, fair was inaugurated by Daniel Penac and now again in 2018 where the book lovers are going to witness the great closing celebration of Bonjour India Festival.
Further, the highest order of Merit, the Legion of Honour will be conferred to the legendary film personality Shri Soumitra Chattopadhyay from the inaugural dais by the Hon’ble Minister of Culture and Communication, Mrs Francoise Nyssen. The inaugural ceremony of the Book Fair will be held on 30 January 2018 at 4.30 pm. The fair will be inaugurated by the eminent French author Mrs Leonora Miano and Bengal’s Hon’ble Chief Minister Madam Mamata Banerjee in presence of the Hon’ble French Cultural Minister, H.E. Ambassador Mr Alexandre Ziegler and other noted authors & celebrities. The details of other performances and celebrations of our Partner Country will be communicated by H.E. Ambassador who has kindly agreed to be the Honoured Chief Guest of this National Press Conference.
As in the previous years, a lucky draw will be held during all fair days and the winners will get book gift vouchers. The grand finale will be organised on the last day of the Fair and the winner, as in the last year will get a car.
The mainroads of the Book Fair will be named after legends of France in celebration of the 70th year of Indo-France Relationship.
In spite of the space constraints, we have tried to welcome the publishers from various states of India and for the first time participants have come from Kerala, Gujarat, Odisha, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu along with the existing publishers from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura etc. All the multinational publishing houses will have their own pavilions along with the regular direct participation from the countries like United Kingdom, United States of America, Russian Federation, Japan, China, Colombia, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Vietnam, Spain and some other Latin American countries.
The 5th edition of Kolkata Literature Festival 2018 — an integral part of the International Kolkata Book Fair will be held at the colourful auditorium of the fair ground for 3 days, from 8 to 10 February, 12 noon onwards. The KLF 2017 witnessed the presence of the 65 authors, poets and celebrities from 10 countries ranging from the likes of Shankha Ghosh, Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay, Srijato, Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Datta, Hardeep Puri, Saroo Brierly to Neal Hall, Lin Anderson, Denes Gazsi, Jenny Brown with musical and dance performance of Pandit Ajay Chakraborti, Kalika Prasad, Dona Ganguly, Pandit Tanmay Bose. Today we have with us Madam Sujata Sen who will apprise you this year’s specially designed events in a nutshell.
We extend our sincerest thanks to all who have taken the trouble to cover this National Press Conference and the honoured Guests on the dais.
Sudhangshu Dey Tridib Kr. Chatterjee
President Hony. General Secretary