The Slovenia Times

Reading Takes Stage with New Volume of Slovenian Book Days


In Ljubljana, where Kongresni trg square was the traditional central location, the main venue is moving in front of City Hall, while the fair featuring book stalls by 25 publishers will be located on the adjacent Stritarjeva Street.

Some of the novelties of the 20th festival include debates on patronage in culture, precarious work arrangements in culture, and the role of culture in the media.

The goal is also to move some of the literary events from their traditional sites to locations like the Paediatric Clinic, the women's prison at IG and an elderly home, the new head of the programme board Gabriela Babnik has announced.

The "From Around the World" segment should be of particular interest to foreign visitors and will feature names such as the Canadians Endre Farkas and Marie Souaid, who have taken poetry to the stage and to city buses and will read the works of Slovenian poets on opening day.

Faruk Šehić and Dragan Velikić are coming from former fellow Yugoslav countries. The former is a Bosnian author who led a 100-strong battalion during the war, while the latter was active as the Serbian Ambassador in Vienna. The list of foreign guests also includes German-Austrian author Melanie S. Rose.

The Slovenian Book Days will also take place in Maribor, Ormož, Celje, Koper, Kungota as well Graz, Austria and Trieste, Italy, with Babnik announcing the wish to expand the festival beyond Slovenia's borders even more in the future.

In Maribor, the more than 70 events planned will already begin on 17 April. The main theme will be cult books, forbidden and trendy books.

As to the topic of forbidden books, the programme coordinator in Maribor, Petra Kolmančič, said that "while there used to be idealogical censorship in the past, economic censorship is becoming ever stronger today and can be even worse than political censorship."


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