FRANKFURT. With Georgia as this year's Guest of Honour, Frankfurter Buchmesse is highlighting a nation with a centuries-old culture from 10-14 October 2018. Under the tagline “Georgia – Made by Characters”, Georgia showcases more than its literature and new releases in German translation: It is also offering a far-reaching programme to provide diverse perspectives of the country's rich cultural landscape at various cultural venues in Frankfurt. Today, the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (German Museum of Architecture) in Frankfurt hosted the official unveiling of the Guest of Honour Pavilion concept for Frankfurter Buchmesse, accompanied by a presentation of the cultural programme and the Georgian authors who will travel to Frankfurt in October.
“Georgia’s geographical position between Europe and the Caucaus, and its unique identity despite – or perhaps because of – the various cultural and political influences, have made the country into one of the most exciting Guests of Honour in recent times”, says Juergen Boos, President of Frankfurter Buchmesse. „It has been incredibly exciting to see how the programme takes shape and to get a glimpse of the wide range of topics. We have reached a milestone today: there are currently 80 Georgian titles translated into German,“ Juergen Boos continues.
Georgian authors and literary programme – Made by Characters
The Georgian National Book Center (GNBC) has already announced 60 authors who will present their works in German translation at the book fair in October. A final list of authors will be announced in the coming months. Some have already commenced literary tours throughout German-speaking countries, and their works are already well known to the audience. Today Medea Metreveli, the Director of the GNBC, confirmed that Aka Morchiladze, one of the most famous authors in modern Georgian literature, together with Nino Kharatishvili, renowned German author of Georgian origin, will be the key speakers of the project Georgia Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018. The works of the Georgian authors cover all genres of Georgian literature: from short stories, novels and epics to poetry collections, detective stories and children's books, as well as non-fiction and essay collections. Around 130 new German translations from more than 80 publishers have been announced or already published, a number that will continue to increase up until the book fair. However, it is not only the authors who are coming to Frankfurt, the most important Georgian literature prize will, too: the SABA Literary Award. The award ceremony will be held on the 12 October at Kaisersaal – historical city hall of Frankfurt.
The comprehensive literary programme is already underway. One of the highlights is the Georgian Illustration Programme. Up to 20 Georgian illustrators will present their works in Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Berlin Book Island festival will host the exhibition ‘My Image of Georgia’ in cooperation with kulturkind e.V. on 29 May, while the Struwwelpeter-Museum will welcome Georgian illustrators with their exhibition ‘Tsikara - Museum in Museum’ in October. Starting in spring, the book shop campaign throughout Germany will inform about this year's Guest of Honour and its rich literature.
Guest of Honour Pavilion – Made by Characters
The depth of Georgia's culture and literature can be discovered at the Guest of Honour Pavilion "Made by Characters". George Bokhua Studio and Multiverse Architects from Tbilisi take their inspiration for the concept and design from the 33 looping letters of Georgia's unique alphabet: 33 doors will be opened; 33 songs will be heard; 33 boats will sail; and 33 breads will be baked. The pavilion also provides a stage for new releases of Georgian literature. Every year, publishers from around the world can also present their current releases that focus on the Guest of Honour. Publishers can register to partake in the exhibition "Books on Georgia", organized by the Frankfurter Buchmesse, for free.
The Cultural Programme – Made by Characters
During the book fair, Georgian literature, authors and publishers will be front centre and stage. Away from the fair, visitors can encounter many fascinating sides of Georgian culture: Museums and institutions in Frankfurt will host exhibits on Georgia's natural history, archaeology, culture and art history, and offer showings of films and the performing arts. They will present a country full of diversity that has been influenced by eastern and western cultures for centuries, creating a unique and independent cultural identity today. Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung will present "Medea's Love and the Quest for the Golden Fleece" with archaeological findings and antique works of art from Georgia that reflect the wealth of the two ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia. The Senckenbergmuseum plans the exhibition "Homo georgicus - The skull from the cradle of the first Europeans", where the oldest human remains outside of Africa – a humanoid jawbone – were found in 1991. With the title "Gold & Wine. Georgia's oldest Treasures”, Archäologisches Museum Frankfurt (Frankfurt Archaeological Museum) is offering a comprehensive look into the early cultural developments in Georgia – from the beginning of agriculture in the Caucaus in 6000 BCE to the Trialeti culture of the middle bronze age. The MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main will host the German premiere of the new film installation “Burning Palm” (2018) by Andro Wekua, one of the most popular Georgian contemporary artist abroad. Nearby in Offenbach am Main, Klingspor Museum will open the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the Georgian alphabet, which gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2016; the exhibition will include a look into the history of the script. At the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM, German Museum of Architecture), the "Hybrid Tbilisi" exhibition is dedicated to the Georgian capital and its architecture. Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Art) tells stories from Georgia through videos, photographs, illustrations and design and fashion objects in the exhibition "Lara protects me". The Georgian Video Art Archive presents Georgian video art at the "DESCRIPTIONS" exhibition at ATELIERFRANKFURT. The "Picture Languages" show at Fotografie Forum Frankfurt invites visitors to learn about current developments in the Georgian photography scene. PORTIKUS will feature the first individual exhibition of Thea Djordjadze, the most profiled Georgian artist, with sculptures that interact with the space around them. Another highlight of the cultural programme includes performances by the Bouillon Group, which will offer its first overview of their work at the Produktions- und Ausstellungsplattform basis e.V., Frankfurt. In addition Haus am Dom under the title "Georgische Begegnungen" shows collages by Julia Bührle-Nowikowa (matinee for the vernissage on October 7).
Concerts will be held that range from classic and jazz to folk, a cappella and modern music, as well as electro-poetry.
The famous musician-performers present Georgia at the leading concert venues of Germany as Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus and Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, as well as at the Pavilion of the Book Fair. Among them: Khatia Buniatishvili, Lisa Batiashvili, Nino Machaidze, Beka Gochiashvili, Nino Katamadze, Georgian National Ballet "Sukhishvili", Folk Song Ensemble "Rustavi", Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra, Gori Women's Chamber Choir, Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, etc.
Georgia – Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018 together with Schauspiel Frankfurt, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt and Karlsruhe Badisches Theater presents a theatrical portrait of Georgia. The exclusive programme shows a new artistic presence of the country with current works of the most famous Georgian modern authors, theatres and as well as outstanding performance projects of young independent groups: Rezo Gabriadze Marionettes Theatre with “Ramona”, the Rustaveli State Drama Theatre with “Styx”, the Marjanishvili State Theatre with “Navigator”, the Royal District Theatre with “Prometheus – 25 Years of Independence” , the Music and Drama Theatre with Exercise or projects by independent companies – they all present their visions of telling histories and stories and invite audience to rediscover Georgia and its theatre "on the balcony of Europe".
Georgian National Film Center together with Deutsches Filmmuseum will be screening Georgian film series “An overview of Georgian Cinema” during Frankfurter Buchmesse – from the period of silent movies to productions that were created in 1991 to mark Georgia’s independence. The award-winning animated film “The Pocket Man” by Ana Chubinidze will also be on show at Stadtbücherei Frankfurt, Bibliothekszentrum Höchst.
There will also be numerous presentations and readings, including OPEN BOOKS, the city-based reading event during Bookfair, and BOOKFEST, the festival of Frankfurter Buchmesse, as well as special events at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm. Many events will give visitors the opportunity to experience traditional food and wines from the oldest wine region in the world. This year's Guest of Honour will also be encountered by visitors to the Frankfurter Museumsuferfest (Frankfurt Riverside Museum Festival) from 24-26 August – with famous musicians and a diverse culinary programme. During the bookfair, Freitagsküche, a restaurant in Frankfurt, will become the official culinary location for the Guest of Honour outside the fair – with lunches and dinners accompanied by literary or philosophical programmes that invite visitors to savour the taste of Georgia.