12 february / 2020

Russia's participation as the Focal Theme Country in the 44th International Kolkata Book Fair

On January 28, 2020 Honourable Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms Mamata Banerjee opened the 44th International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF-2020) where Russia for the first time ever was presented as a Focal Theme Country. Russian literature and culture were the central motif of the largest book fair in Asia.

The inauguration of the Russian pavilion decorated by the teachers of the Higher School of Printing and Media Industry named after V.A.Favorsky took place on January 29, 2020. The visitors could observe an extensive book display (more than 900 volumes) inside the pavilion, which included a hall for presentations and meetings, individual stands of Indian publishers engaged in the translation project of the books from Russian.

Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation (Rospechat) Mr Vladimir Grigoriev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India Mr Nikolay Kudashev, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Kolkata Mr Alexey Idamkin, head of desk of the Rospechat Mr Alexander Voropaev, winner of many Russian prestigious awards writer Mr Eugene Vodolazkin, director of the A.M.Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences Dr Vadim Polonsky, Director of the Institute for Literary Translation Mr Eugene Reznichenko, president of the Publishers & Booksellers Guild Mr Tridib Chatterjee as well as ministers of the West Bengal government, representatives of the Kolkata consular corps, press and local cultural circles took part in the opening ceremonies.

The program of Russian participation in the IKBF-2020 included a memorial lecture by Mr Vadim Polonsky “Thirst for apocalyptic whirlwinds and the creation of the New World” as well as speeches of writers whose books have recently been translated into Hindi and Bengali such as Mr Eugene Vodolazkin, Mr Andrei Gelasimov, Ms Alisa Ganieva, Mr Petrs Aleshkovsky, literary critics Ms Galina Yuzefovich, authors of books for children Ms Anna Goncharova and Ms Natalia Volkova, who held master classes with young readers. Particular attention was paid to literature for children. The presentations of the 37th IBBY World Congress, which will be held in Moscow on September 5-7, 2020, and the First Moscow International Children's Book Fair in September 2021 were made at the IKBF-2020.

“The modern Russian novel from the point of view of philologist and writer” lecture was given by Mr Eugene Vodolazkin on February 3 at the “Oxford Bookstore”, one of the oldest in Kolkata.

A rehearsal of the “Total Dictation” was held at the Russian stand on February 4 by the author Mr Andrey Gelasimov.

The books translated from Russian into the Bengali language such as “Bride and Groom” by Ms Alisa Ganieva, “Ten stories about love” by Mr Andrei Gelasimov, “Frosya Korovina” by Mr Stanislav Vostokov, “Multicoloured Snow” by Ms Natalia Volkova, “Enya and Elya” by Ms Anna Goncharova as well as into Hindi such as “Fish. A History of one migration” by Mr Peter Aleshkovsky and “Poems in prose” by Ivan Turgenev were released during the Kolkata Literary Festival (February 6-8, 2020).

Performances of the “Ladi” Russian balalaika duet on the margins of the KLF and at the IKBF-2020 closing ceremony on February 9 got full houses.