The 2022 Bogota International Book Fair began on April 19 at the Corferias International Business and Exhibition Center in the Colombian capital. Korea is participating as guest country of honor to mark 60 years of bilateral relations with Colombia.
The second-largest event of its kind in South America, the fair this year is being held offline for the first time in three years since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The opening ceremony started at 6 p.m. at Corferias with about 200 people from Korea and Colombia attending, including Colombian President Ivan Duque, Colombian Minister of Culture Angelica Mayolo, and Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hwang Hee.
Korea has a guest country section at the fair covering 3,000 square m., the largest of its kind in the event's history, with approximately 100 books under the theme "Togetherness and convivencia (coexistence)."
The section features Korean literature, nonfiction and children's books, the "prettiest books" in Korea from 2020-21, and interactive spots for experiencing traditional Korean culture and watching traditional music and K-pop dance performances.
Korean authors of picture books such as Lee Suzy, who won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, or the so-called Nobel Prize for Literature of children's literature, and Park Yeon-cheol, Kim Hyo-eun, Jung Jin-ho, Kim Su-jung and Kim Ji-eun and critics will participate in book discussions and readings.
Minister Hwang in his congratulatory speech called Colombia a "thankworthy brother" as the only South American nation to fight in the Korean War (1950-53). Through guest country of honor's events at the fair, he said he hopes writers and readers from the two countries convey and exchange their thoughts.
President Duque said Colombian films today are enjoyed in Korea, adding that a few days ago, he saw a Korean production company filming a movie in Bogota. Bilateral ties have grown stronger through Korea's participation as the fair's guest country of honor, he added, and will mark a new chapter when Colombia is guest country of honor at the Seoul International Book Fair in June.
Attracting about 600,000 visitors per year, the fair this year will end on May 2.
Over 500 publishing representatives from 30 countries and around 400 publishers, distributors and bookstores from Colombia are taking part in the event.