From 10 to 14 October, New Zealand presented itself as Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair under the motto “While you were sleeping/Bevor es bei Euch hell wird”.
In the Guest of Honour’s pavilion, more than 90,000 visitors set out on a journey to the other end of the universe. Surrounded by water on an island beneath a magical night sky, they could experience New Zealand’s storytelling in all its diversity, with authors’ readings, films, music and performances.
Pavilion architecture and design: Patterson Associates/Inside Out Productions
Authors and artists from the other side of the world in Frankfurt
Sixty-seven authors from New Zealand presented their books at the Book Fair 2012. These included a large number of new releases. During the year as Guest of Honour, some 80 authors and 69 artists and performers from New Zealand visited Germany, where they presented their country’s multifaceted literature and culture with readings, exhibitions, dance, theatre, music, film and culinary events.
New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme comprised 420 events in all, 150 of which were held at the exhibition site; more than 140 were took place in Frankfurt and 130 in other cities.
At the exhibition site, besides the Guest of Honour pavilion in Level 1 of the Forum, there was also a New Zealand marquee on the Agora with Maori arts and crafts from Te Puia and a daily programme of stage performances. In Hall 8 about 40 New Zealand publishers contributed to the presentation at the large collective stand. On top of all that, New Zealand’s programme ensured it a presence throughout the Fair – for example in the Comics Centre, in the Forum Education, in the Gourmet Gallery, at the StoryDrive conference, and with a unique Hobbit-Cosplay. Hobbit-Cosplay.
In the end it was hard to say goodbye. It was great having you, New Zealand!
"Iceland’s Guest of Honour Appearance was the best for a long time“ This was the headline in the Frankfurter Rundschau Frankfurter Rundschau, and during the Fair itself the Iceland Pavilion drew record visitor numbers. It featured huge screens where Icelanders would read from their favourite books, and visitors could enter a multimedia capsule to be carried off to the island’s mesmerizing natural world. About forty Icelandic authors were presenting their titles to packed audiences in the pavilion and around the Fair. The “Icelandic Sitting Room” became an island of calm amidst the hubbub, with some 916 Books to choose from at the Books-on-Iceland exhibition there. The Iceland Pavilion was where everybody came together – to read, to relax, to drink “brennivín” during the daily happy hour; it was THE meeting place at Frankfurt.
Argentina celebrated its 200th anniversary of independence in 2010, and made its impressive Guest-of-Honour entrance at the Frankfurt Book Fair. During the Guest-of-Honour final press conference, FBF’s director Juergen Boos praised Argentina’s presence as the “most literary in years”; under the motto “Argentine, Culture on the Move” the country had staged more than 65 authors, 120 publishers and 150 events.