Ample, ambitious and vibrant, the Thessaloniki International Book Fair (TBF) continuing its course for the 16th year is set to open for four days (from Thursday, May 9 to Sunday, May 12, 2019) at the premises of the International Exhibition and Congress Center of Thessaloniki (TIF-Helexpo). It is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in collaboration with TIF-HELEXPO, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, associations of Greek publishers as well as independent publishers. It is supported by the Hellenic Parliament and is under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the Regional Operational Program of Central Macedonia 2014-2020.

500 events, 300 writers, 250 publishers

Bibliophiles will have to take their pick from around 500 carefully selected events that will be staged in this Book Fair, which is the most important one in Greece and  in Southeastern Europe. About 300 writers are going to be present in this four-day celebration and participate in book presentations, discussions, festivals, screenings, workshops, exhibitions, and other parallel events. Around 60 out the above-mentioned writers are foreign novelists, essayists and poets, who take part in the fair thanks to the valuable cooperation and support of foreign institutes and embassies, such the French Institute, the Goethe Institute, the Irish Embassy, the Cervantes Institute, the Consulate of Columbia in Athens, the Italian Institute.

Guest of Honor: The Spanish Speaking World

The Spanish Speaking World is the guest of honor of the 16th TBF. The Hellenic Foundation for Culture in cooperation with the Ibero-American Literature Festival in Athens – LEA, embassies, institutes and other cultural institutions both within and outside Greece, focuses not only on the literature originating from Spain (including the Basque Country), but also on the Spanish speaking countries of Latin America, such as El Salvador, Columbia, etc. Authors Santiago Gamboa and Héctor Abad Faciolince from Columbia, Jorge Galán from El Salvador, Juan Vicente Piqueras from Spain as well as Hellenist Pedro Olalla from Spain, to name but a few, are taking part in this thematic cluster. Portugal, the other country of the Iberian Peninsula, will also be represented by writers Dulce Maria Cardoso and José Luis Peixoto.

Writers from 20 countries

In addition to the Spanish or Portuguese speaking writers, an impressive array of foreign authors originating from 20 countries will participate in the 16th TBF, namely from France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, USA, Russia, Israel, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Sweden, etc. Some of the most important guests are Éric Vuillard from France (winner of Prix Goncourt 2017), László Krasznahorkai, a novelist and screenwriterfrom Hungary, Aslı Erdoğan from Turkey, a writer, journalist and human rights activist, Andrea Marcolongo, aHellenistfrom Italy, Clare Mackintosh, the representative of the British Noir, Fania Oz-Salzberger, the daughter of the Israeli writer Amos Oz, an academic and history professor, Harald Gilbers from Germany, a journalist, stage director and writer, Felicia Olusanya, an Irish-nigerian writer and performer, Misel Bisi, a French best-selling novelist, political scientist, academic and an expert on electoral geography, Véronique Ovaldé, anawarded French novelist, Jean Quatremer from France, a journalist (Liberation) and writer, and Rita Bullwinkel,  an awarded American writer.

Furthermore, several Greek writers living abroad or writers of Greek origin, such as Aris Fioretos, Panos Karnezis, Angela Dimitrakaki and Michalis Patentalis (head of the Greek Writers’ Association in Germany) have been invited thanks to the support of the General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad.

Greece-Russia Year of Language and Literature

In the course of the 16th TBF, Greece and Russia are going to announce a Year of Language and Literature in both countries. As a result, the presence of Russia in the Thessaloniki Book Fair will be vibrant in a 200 sq.m. hall that will host quite a number of events and happenings. The year of Language and Literature will be concluded at the 33rd Moscow International Book Fair in September 2020.

Greek authors

The Thessaloniki Book Fair will also attract numerous Greek writers; some of the most renown Greek authors will participate either by presenting their books or as speakers in scheduled events. Here are some of the participants given in alphabetical order: Kostas Akrivos, Mimis Androulakis, Alexandros Asonitis, Nikos Vatopoulos, Christos Yannaras, Theodoros Grigoriadis, Nikos Davvetas, Alexandra Deligiorgi, Dimitris Dimitriadis, Lena Divani, Minos Efstathiadis, Stavros Zouboulakis, Isidoros Zourgos, Takis Theodoropoulos, Dimitris Kalokyris, Katerina Karizoni, Ioanna Karystiani, Kostas Katsoularis Dimitra Kolliakou, Thomas Korovinis, Dimosthenis Kourtovik, Auguste Corteau, Achilleas Kyriakidis, Dimitris Maniatis, Petros Markaris, Andreas Mitsou, Amanda Michalopoulou, Leon Nar, Sophia Nikolaidou, Yiannis Palavos, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Hilda Papadimitriou, Jorgos Skampardonis, Sakis Serefas, Dimitris Sotakis, Ersi Sotiropoulos, Vasilis Tzanakaris, Fotini Tsalikoglou, Michel Fais, Maria Fakinou, Elena Chouzouri, Yiorgos Chouliaras, Christos Chryssopoulos, Soloup (Antonis Nikolopoulos), etc.

Main Topic

The main topic of the 16th TBF is “The Crowd as a Protagonist in Literature and History.” In most cases, the crowd has been portrayed as a silent presence. Sometimes, however, it has come dynamically into the foreground. This thematic approach seeks to establish the role of the crowd, either as a background actor or, rather, as a protagonist on the social stage. It aspires to detect the way that literature and historical research have dealt with the crowd throughout time, while attempting to highlight the crucial ideological conflict of our day and age; namely, the one between the advocates of collective action –and consequently of social solidarity practices– and the supporters of individualism. In other words, it demonstrates the controversy between the proponents of civil society and those who believe that there is no society at all, just mere individuals.

Furthermore, the 16th TBF focuses on the following thematic areas:

Literature and Memory

Literature as a vehicle of the collective, individual and cultural memory defines the historical consciousness and consequently our present. Within this context, a number of events will take place, such as a tribute to the literary satire entitled “Satire Smile and Remembrance” on the occasion of the death or birth anniversaries of Georgios Souris, Nikos Tsiforos, Dimitris Psathas, Kleanthis Triantafyllou. In view of the thematic framework “Literature and Thessaloniki,” there will be events dedicated to Nikos Bakolas, Leonidas Christakis and Kostis Moscov. With regard to the thematic area “Writing and Politics,” attention will be focused on the works of Michalis Katsaros, Elli Pappa, Nikos Nikolaidis, Miltos Sachtouris. Last but not least, the works of Maria Iordanidou, Dido Sotiriou and Margarita Lyberaki will be presented and discussed upon in the thematic cluster “Women Greek Writers in the 20th Century.”

Distinct homage will be paid to the linguistic contributions of Manolis Triantafyllidis, as 60 years have passed since his death.

“I, the Woman Man”* – Gender and Literary Performance

Does gender identity come naturally? How do contemporary writers and performers perceive the concept of gender? Do performative acts contain a political dimension that could function as a resistance to the norms and lead to the individual’s happiness? Is there a women’s literature? The relation of books to the performing arts and more specifically to performance will be presented through avant-garde readings, interactive workshops, theatrical adaptations of works of prose and verse, and actions based on classical or more recent literary works.

*Title of a Poem by Zoe Karelli

Imagine All the People: A Tribute to the Refugee Experience

For the fourth consecutive year, the program of the TBF incorporates actions, experiential workshops and book presentations for both children and adults, whose main focus will be the refugees’ way of living, their voice, their needs, and their contribution to our country. Regarding this crucial issue, the 16th TBF has cooperated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Greece, which will stage four workshops with refugee children and one event with the participation of Philippe Leclerc, the head of the UNHCR Greek office.

Children and Teenagers’ Corner

As is the case with the previous years, theevents destined for children, teenagers and educators constitute one of the most powerful attractions of the TBF. Since its main objective is to make children, teenagers and educators familiar with engaged reading, the Thessaloniki Book Fair organizes various events, that involve not only presentations of recently published books, but also discussions of critical issues pertaining to the school and social life of all parties of the education process, the parents and of course the children and teenagers.

Festivals, Events and Actions

The TBF will also host its well-established program of events, which includes the 6th New Writers’ Festival, the 4th Translation Festival, presentations of new publications, as well as discussions with authors, meetings among professionals of the book industry, thematic exhibitions and film screenings.

Priority to Professional Issues of the Publishing Industry

Great emphasis is given to the professional part of the publishing sector. The five-hour workshop on the future of the book, which will be held on Friday, May 10, at 10 am-3 pm, at the “Don Quixote” Hall in Pavilion 14, will focus on international market issues, modern business models and the new technologies. Publishing experts from Greece as well as England, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Brazil will take part in the workshop. In addition to this, a meeting corner will be in full swing at the International Pavilion 14, where Greek publishers and book professionals will have the opportunity to meet and discuss with publishers from abroad various issues concerning books and copyrights. Moreover, the Goethe Institute of Athens in cooperation with the Berlin headquarters will present the German literary translation program Litrix (, which is dedicated for the next two years to the translation of German books into Greek.

Exhibitions – Homage to Yannis Behrakis

The 16th Thessaloniki Book Fair also includes a large number of exhibitions. Not to be missed is the photo exhibition in memory of Pulitzer winning Reuters photojournalist Yannis Behrakis, who died recently; a man who featured the crucial moments of the refugee crisis through his capturing images. The exhibition is comprised of material granted from the Reuters agency, where Behrakis worked for more than three decades.

Other exhibitions involve: a part of the exhibition “Fighting for Peace: Greece-Italy-Spain in the 1980s,” organized by the Hellenic Parliament Foundation, a group exhibition of twelve artists and poets under the title “Thinking together” organized by theFaculty of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the exhibition  “Souvenirs de Salonique: French Stories from the past and the present” staged by the French Institute of Thessaloniki, an exhibition of awarded book illustrations in cooperation with the Greek Graphic Design and Illustration Awards (EBGE) and the Design Week.

The 16th Thessaloniki Book Fair is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the Regional Operational Program of Central Macedonia 2014-2020.

The 16th Thessaloniki Book Fair is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the Regional Operational Program of Central Macedonia 2014-2020.