The upcoming Frankfurt book fair in Germany is set to hold in October 2022. The event will attract a global response with thousands from all works of life, engaging in the business of networking, translating, negotiating, marketing, advertising including other social and economic activities.
Going by its definition, a book fair is a display or exhibition of books typically by a group of publishers or book dealers for promoting sales and stimulating interest due to increasing public demand for books and a limited presence of bookshop.
The history of Frankfurt book fair is filled with beautiful stories of renew vigour and a purpose driven approach to business. It has kept faith with this tradition for over five centuries. During it’s early stage of written in the 12th century before the advent of printed books. Frankfurt trade fair was a home for commercial sales of hand written books.
The annual event is often referred to by its generic name Frankfuter Buchmesse, with over 7,000 exhibitors form more than a 100 countries in attendance with an interest to buy, sell, learn and be inspired.
Moreover, the global event lay claims to the birth place of the European publishing industry during the 15th Century. Frankfurt is close to Mainz the City which Johannes Guterberg the inventor of the printing press who pioneered the production of printed books in Europe in 1439. The efforts of Guterberg’s printing press has made works of scholarships and books to gain wider accessibility to people from all works of life for the first time. The mass production of printed books helped in reawaking the reading culture, transformed the way people communicated and learned about the world.
In addition to the growing numbers of publishing houses, books sellers, agents, translators, marketers and other forms of businesses. Increase in commercial activities due to the scientific invention of the printing press led to the annual celebration of the Frankfurt book fair which began in 1949.
This years’ global event sets the stage for cross cultural exchange of values, knowledge, ideals bringing with it professionals from all fields to engage in business and political discuss.
An outstanding feature for this year’s event is the area dedicated to self-publishing which started in 2013 and the peace prize of the German bank trade that has been awarded since 1950 to honour writers who wrote on subjects that teaches peaceful co-existence.
The Frankfurter Buchmesse as it is called is a forum where people from background across diverse social, cultural economic and political knowledge of the world come together to discuss their common interest through books and peaceful dialogue.
Arguably, the books we read and write forms an opinion of our identity, who we are, our culture, dreams, fears, foods, music’s, rivers, mountains, what binds us together and what makes us different. Who you are as individual and who we are as a group or people, our cultural identity and our lingua-franca.
In a global scene, it is who you are that show what you represent, your foreign policies between nations to nations and the rest of the world.
PEACE AND SECURITY
Coming out from the rubble of World War II that ended in 1945 with the establishment of the United nation, it became pertinent that the reopening of the book fair would help fast track a continued and sustainable peaceful co-existence in Europe and the world at large. With the book fair reopened, the dawn of European integration and cross cultural co-existence of our diversity became a reality. As expected, this year event will see to the inclusion of refugees being given access to the book fair under the lead of a guide who could speak their language. This action taken by the organizers once again bridges the wall that divides us.
Furthermore, it brings to mind that there is more to what unite us than divides us. Its proves that knowledge and education is itself a key factor for self-development, self-sustenance and self-sufficiency. Thus giving the refugees access to the book fair will help refocus their mind towards attaining their dream and consequently setting the standard for global peace and security.
In 2018, the book fair, had its theme on protection of lives, freedom of independence and diversity through literature considered to be a key factor for reconciliation, peace and security.
To this end it is believed that without peace nations can not relate in international fairs and international relations between nations rest on the threshold of peace, security & diplomacy for instance following the war in Balkans that took place in Europe, worship centers became a target zone and were destroyed. However today, history is being rewritten as the European union takes the bull by the horn to restoring places of worship (churches, mosques and temples) all round the Balkans. This would be considered as a branch of an olive tree towards total reconciliation.
With the war going on in Ukraine and finding a political solution seems impossible. Nevertheless, the people of Ukraine and Russia had often seen themselves as one big family across the political divide. Therefore, the book fair could serve as a bridge to change the narrative in providing a platform for writers and authors of Ukraine and Russia to hold talks and find common ground for discussing their heart felt opinion and equally proffer solution for lasting peace and security in their region. The quest for regional peace and security could become a motivation for both authors, publishers and journalist to co-author books in supports of a cross cultural diplomacy, freedom of independence, peace and security thus bridging the gap that divided us.
A striking significant role during this event is that it provides a common ground for outstanding authors and new authors to meet, agents, distributors and retailers to discuss business. This no doubt will attract the media and public sectors towards attending the book fair.
More so, the book fair provides a platform for publishers and authors to meet the public interest. Whereas, during these events, publishers are much likely to showcase their new arrivals as well as engage the minds of their audience, in a bit to know their area of key subject interest for research. The research when completed will add to scholarship and academic purposes.
Remarkably, a book fair of such magnitude like the Frankfurter Buchmesse with a global appeal as the world’s largest book fair will certainly be a hub of activities with a record of increased number of participants from well over a hundred countries interacting and profiting from it’s social, political and economic activities. The platform provides the visiting publishers, organizers and C.E.Os. the right exposure needed to host a similar book fair in their home country.
Other benefits include a quest for home grown libraries, developing a reading culture and comprehensive skills amongst students thereby improving their knowledge base and vocabulary for understanding new subject topic.
A notable motivation during this events will be the availability of a wide range of books where one can make a choice to choose from before the actual purchase is made. Book fair cut across all social-political divides. It has no limit to age, ethnicity, gender, colour, race or religion.
It is opined that, knowledge or education remains the bedrock for civilization to evolve and thrive in any society. Consequently, the book industry, is one industry known to solve the quest for increase intellectual capacity through the yearly book fair show and its E-learning reading culture.
Conclusively, following trends in global event such as the Covid, climate change, immigration, refugees, war and its implication, it becomes necessary for the global community to utilize the current book fair occasion in Frankfurt as a spring board for scholastic works and to further discussion on world peace and education in relation to the development of the under-developed war prone nations of the world.
WRITTEN BY EBOIGBE CYRIL ZION