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Issue 82 – October 2011

Wednesday 26 October 2011 by Diyana Yosifova

A Brand-New Frankfurt Book Fair?

(JPG) This year, the biggest book fair in the world did not exactly have a brand-new look, yet some notable changes deserve to be mentioned. The ever-increasing presence of the digital is now everywhere, sharing equal – or perhaps even more than equal – attention with the traditional book in both the fair spaces and the fair programs. The old-fashioned Reading Tent in the center of the fairgrounds is now being moved to the backyard, to be replaced by an impressive hi-tech construction for hosting events and exhibitions on new media.

The “Tools of Change” conference presented a new White Paper on global e-book markets that we recommend for download. The global South also had its say on the digital issue, affirming itself independently from the richer West – at least according to the visionary report commissioned by the Alliance of Independent Publishers and written by Octavio Kulesz, a digital publisher in Argentina. Also, in this year’s distribution of exhibition space, the fair completed the process of desegregating “Eastern Europe” from the rest of the world. The two floors of Hall 5 are now equally distributed between publishers and cultural organizations from all sorts of smaller languages so that a Georgian stand peacefully coexists next to a Norwegian one, rather than being assigned to the “post-Sov” group.

Organizations for cultural cooperation such as Next Page are also enjoying a more prominent place at the fairgrounds and especially in the accompanying program of events. Much to our delight, Next Page and its work was favorably mentioned during at least three public events in which we had no representatives on the panels.

Staff Changes

During the last month, we welcomed two new colleagues and said goodbye to another one.

Ina Doublekova, our manager for the comix project and provider of indispensable support in the foundation’s other activities, has left Next Page to develop her ideas in her own organization. We wish her the best of luck and we are sure her new undertaking will make a change in Bulgarian cultural life!

At the same time, we are happy to welcome Diyana Yosifova as the new program assistant. Diyana holds a bachelor’s degree in European studies and an MA in public policy from CEU Budapest, with a specialization in cultural policy. She has previously worked as a project manager and has just completed internships as a researcher for the OSI Arts and Culture Program – Budapest and the Budapest Observatory. Diyana can be contacted at

As of December 1, 2011, our new Book Platform initiative will be managed by Ana Portarska. Ana has worked extensively in the field of education and has also managed the Bulgarian Publishers Association. The Book Platform initiative is our new project for Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine that we will announce publicly before the end of the year. Ana Portarska can be contacted at