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HomeUncategorizedKolkata Book Fair 2022 goes green, focuses on new publishers

Kolkata Book Fair 2022 goes green, focuses on new publishers

The Covid-19 pandemic has compelled the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, organisers of the 45th Kolkata International Book Fair, to open up an additional 35 percent of the Central Park Mela Ground in Karunamoyee, Salt Lake, to the public. Starting February 28, Kolkata Book Fair 2022 will continue until March 13, maintaining Covid-19 protocol.

Publishers and Booksellers Guild general secretary Tridib Chatterjee said this year, the book fair will see a greater number of stalls than before, but stall sizes have been made smaller. This is to include several new and young publishers, who have shown promise in the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“In the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic, many young publishers have come forward. Of course, the book publishing industry has suffered a huge loss owing to Covid-19 but these young publishers have used digital platforms to transform the publishing space. We have reduced the size of stalls belonging to established publishers to accommodate the new and promising ones. Nobody complained when we asked participants to reduce the size of their stalls. Since we couldn’t organise the book fair last year, all the publishers were eager to participate this year and get back to business. Also, an additional 35 percent of the Central Park Mela Ground has been kept open for the public to avoid overcrowding. And nobody is to be allowed in without a mask,” he said. 

The 45th International Kolkata Book Fair will accommodate more than 600 stalls, with nearly 200 set aside for little magazine publishers. For the third time, Bangladesh is to return as the theme country. The Kolkata book fair will celebrate the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence from Pakistan following the 1971 Liberation War. Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, chief coordinator of the National Implementation Committee for the Celebration of Mujib Borsho and also a poet, unveiled the logo of the focal theme country at the press conference on Thursday.  

“More than 42 publishers and 50 stalls will be present at the book fair. Bangladesh has always enjoyed being at the Kolkata Book Fair and this year is most special,” said Chowdhury. 

On February 28, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the event in the presence of such literary greats of Bengal as Sanjib Chattopadhyay and well-known Bangladeshi novelist Selina Hossain. 

Apart from Bangladesh, other countries like Russia, Italy, Japan, Iran, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Britain, and USA will have a presence at the book fair. 

Talking about another highlight at Kolkata Book Fair 2022, Chatterjee said, “We have lost a number of notable literary figures to Covid-19, such as Sankha Ghosh and Narayan Debnath. A stall called ‘Shraddhargho’ will be set up at the book fair to pay homage to the lost luminaries. In fact, we have lost 15-20 significant literary figures to the pandemic. We will set up the large stall to pay heartfelt tribute to them.” 

For booklovers, here’s some more good news. The eighth Kolkata Literature Festival will be held in hybrid mode at the book fair premises on March 11 and 12. 

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