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December 6, 2021

The guests of honour of Bookfest 2019: 11 authors from UK to celebrate diversity in literature

Ten British contemporary authors and a Romanian author established in the UK will come to Bucharest at the end of May, as guests of honour of the project “United Kingdom – guest of honour country of the Bookfest International Book Salon” (May 29 – June 2, 2019, Romexpo), under a program designed to celebrate diversity in literature.

The UK stand, as a guest of honour country, will have a generous size of 120 sqm, and will be made by using the papier mâché technique.

“United Kingdom is the European book market to which Romania is most connected, at least if we are taking into account the book production after 1989. Therefore, it is obvious why UK’s participation to Bookfest as a Guest of Honour is a celebration itself, since the public will have direct access to a culture which the Romanian publishers worked hard to promote”, stated the Grigore Arsene, the President of AER, the organizer of the event.

Gathered under the motto “Culture is GREAT”, the 11 writers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will attend, during the five Bookfest days, a variety of events, from book launches and debates to workshops and creative workshops.

“British culture and literature of our days are fundamentally related to the intersection of diverse ideas and identities, which defined a strong and well represented creative sector before the public worldwide. Cultural dialogue has a special power to transgress social, cultural and political differences, so UK’s program as a guest of honour country of the Bookfest International Book Salon will celebrate diversity and tolerance with vivid and diverse stories narrated through literature, as well as through other artistic environments”, stated Nigel Bellingham, the Director of British Council Romania.

Half of the invited authors are already known to the local readers, thanks to the books that have been successfully translated into Romanian. The other authors will present themselves for the first time to the Romanian public, bringing new perspectives on the British culture and literature and having the opportunity to create new connections.

The presence of the United Kingdom as a guest of honour country of the Bookfest International Book Salon is managed by British Council Romania and the Embassy of the UK in Romania. The more than 40 events organized by British Council in collaboration with its partners will take place both at the stand and in the event spaces of the Pavilion or at “Bookfest Junior” space.


 An original stand of the UK at Bookfest 2019, created by two Romanian artists: architect Johannes Bertleff and sculptor Virgil Scripcariu


United Kingdom, the guest of honour country of the 14th edition of the Bookfest International Book Salon, the 2019 edition that will take place in the B2 Pavilion of Romexpo, suggests an original stand to the Romanian book lovers, a creation of the Romanian artists. It is the concept proposal of the stand imagined by architect Johannes Bertleff and sculptor Virgil Scripcariu, named FIGURES, the winning idea of the architecture contest launched by British Council together with the Romanian Architects Order, Bucharest Branch.

FIGURES creates an open space for exhibiting books, starting from the idea of “incarnating” the text, of the book seen as a vehicle that hides ideas meant to connect people and cultures. In the view of the two artists, this idea takes the shapes of characters that are detached from the ground, made from papier mâché by sculptor Virgil Scripcariu, which characters will receive visitors in their world.

The sculptural creations are surrounded by furniture items of a low height, dressed in the same material, having, of course, a utilitarian purpose, but being non-invasive from a chromatic point of view, letting the book to play the leading role. Therefore, the book is seen as an object that is able to connect us, beyond the social or political frameworks we are crossing.

An urban living room, a space placed at the boundary between symbolic and functional, surprising by dynamism, by combining the two planes, the terrestrial and the spiritual one, planes that are working together, like the paper and the literary creation. The architectural and sculptural planes work together in the same way, in a perfect symbiosis of the utilitarian perspective with the artistic creation.

Last but not least, we must note the concern of the two creators, architect Johannes Bertleff and sculptor Virgil Scripcariu, to use ecological materials and solutions in making the stand that will host for five days, the presence at Bookfest 2019 of the personalities of the world of books from Uk and Romania.




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