The Porto Book Fair, which will take place between 7 and 23 September, in the gardens of Palácio de Cristal, presents this year as a novelty the project ‘Cabine de Escalas’, dedicated to hosting small scale publishers free of charge.
“The project translates into a shared space that allows free participation of small publishers and bookstores at the book fair,” said Porto Mayor, Rui Moreira.
The program presented today includes debates such as “The Necessary Revolutions” with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, one of the faces of May 68, who will talk with the historian Rui Tavares, and also confirmed the presence of the writer Leila Slimani, awarded with Goncourt in 2016 for ‘Canção Doce’ (edited in Portugal by Alfaguara).
In a press conference, Rui Moreira also announced another project aimed at creating “an ephemeral summer pavilion, whose architectural design will be launched in the contest, and which should serve as a meeting space and culture before, during and after the fair period from the book”.
“If you like it is a kind of pavilion of the Serpentine Gallery, but it will not be by invitation but by invitation, and it will have to allow use for cultural activities during the fair of the book” , said Rui Moreira, noting that it is already working on the project to “be materialized next year.”
As it was announced in March, the 50-year-old singer and producer, José Mário Branco, was the chosen figure to pay homage to this year’s Porto Book Fair, where his name will be engraved on a plaque in the Avenida das Tílias, in the Gardens of the Crystal Palace, similar to figures like Vasco Graça-Moura, Agustina Bessa-Luís, Mário Cláudio or Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen.
“The multiple conversations, presentations, lessons, screenings and performances of spoken word cover topics particularly close to José Mário Banco’s work – freedom, love and uprising – and the ideals of 68, whose 50 years we also point out in different ways “said Rui Moreira, noting that the programming team remains with Anabela Mota Ribeiro and José Eduardo Agualusa.
The set of debates scheduled on memory and literary reinvention, on sex as an insurrection, on the construction of a novel and the construction of a writer, will add some names of the literary universe in Portuguese like Mário de Carvalho, Mia Couto, Afonso Cruz and Bernardo Carvalho with younger, national and foreign authors.
Utopia, Revolta, Amor and Melancolia, are the themes of the spoken-word sessions, whose starting point is the relationship between the written and sung word and the way it was worked by authors such as Chico Buarque, Jacques Brel, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan or Stevie Wonder, among other poets and writers.
The exhibitions stand out as’ Musonautas, Visões & Avarias 1960-2010 – 5 Decades of Musical Concern in Porto ‘and’ Porto Sentido de Fora: Books and Travel Guides of Portugal between the Constitutional Monarchy and the Estado Novo (1820- 1974).
The program also includes a film series entitled ‘Let’s be realistic, we demand the impossible (Some) cries of rebellion in the cinema’, and special sessions, one of which will be the first session of the new season of the ‘Porto de Encontro’ cycle, will feature Luís Filipe Castro Mendes, a poet and minister of Culture.
In this edition, the Book Fair of Porto maintains the same size and typology of the previous year’s offer, with 134 participants, distributed by 130 ‘stands’.
“We believe this to be the right dimension for this space, increasing it could distort the relationship of visitors with the park and the landscape, which we intend to be a differentiating element in the experience of visiting this city project,” said Rui Moreira.
According to the mayor, “total budget is 200 thousand euros, identical to the previous edition, which is divided equally between logistics and programming expenses.”
“As for the 100 thousand euros of logistics, they are fully covered by the leases that we will charge,” he added.