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Issue 77 - April 2011

Saturday 30 April 2011 by Ina Doublekova

World Book Capital Goes Digital, Too


From April 2010 to April 2011, Ljubljana has been the UNESCO World Book Capital. While the concept of a book capital is not new, Ljubljana’s novelty was in its exceptionally intense and diverse program, as well as the outspoken commitment by various public, municipal and non-governmental bodies to make things happen the right way.

The World Book Summit, which took place on March 31 – April 1 as part of the book capital program, brought together key actors in the field of books from Europe and beyond. The two days had quite different themes – everything about digital books, Google and the consequent changes in publishing business models on the first day, and translations, funding and regional cooperation at the second – with little connection between the two, unfortunately.

Next Page director Yana Genova participated as a commentator on the panel presenting this year’s Diversity Report on writers in translation. Regional cooperation on the Balkans, an issue that has been a focus of Next Page’s long-term concern and commitment, was the topic of the final afternoon session, moderated by one of the most prominent Slovenian poets and translators, Marjan Strojan. The presentations focused primarily on national book policies in five Balkan countries, with only Traduki and to some extent EKEMEL serving as models of genuinely multilateral regional initiatives.