Colombia will seek to re-establish itself as a country in the XXXII International Book Fair of Bogotá (Filbo) that begins on the 25th of this month and in which it will be the country invited for the 200th anniversary of its independence, Vice President Marta Lucia Ramírez said Tuesday.
The twelve-day fair will have as its axis "Colombia 200 years" to join the commemorations of the bicentennial of the definitive independence of the country of Spain, sealed on August 7, 1819 with the triumph of the liberating army in the Battle of Boyacá
"The Bogota Book Fair is a great stage to highlight our history and recognize national independence as the moment of greatest union around a higher objective, from which the construction of the republic and the Colombian nation begins", Ramirez said.
The vice president stressed the importance of Colombians recognizing themselves as a country since, according to a government survey, "only 35% know that we were a colony and that we became independent from Spain."
This lack of knowledge attributed it in part to the elimination of history classes in basic education in 1994, during the Presidency of César Gaviria, a measure that Congress revoked in December 2017.
"We are a country that commemorates 200 years (...) in which people with millenary traditions and cultures from other latitudes cohabit," affirmed the vice president in the presentation to the press of the Filbo, which will be held on April 25 at May 6th.
For its part, the Minister of Culture, Carmen Inés Vásquez, considered the fair as "strategic" for the Government's objective "to make Colombia a country of readers" since it is an activity that in addition to a large audience of all the regions of the country, brings together "writers and entrepreneurs of the publishing sector".
The minister explained that in view of the low reading rate in the country, the Government has as goal that the average of books read annually by children between 5 and 12 years rise from the current 3.8 to 4.2 in 2022 and that in those aged 12 or older that average goes from 4.2 to 4.4 books per year.
The "Colombia 200 años" pavilion, which will occupy 3,000 square meters, will be divided into six spaces, the first of which will be an exhibition dedicated to the thematic concepts of sovereignty, equality, citizenship and independence.
The others will be those of participation, leisure, a forum for workshops, a bookshop and a gastronomic sample called "Mestizaje".
"To have Colombia as the guest of honor of the Filbo is to give us the opportunity to stop looking at what we are as a republic and democracy, to generate a dialogue between the past and the present that validates our cultural and social heritage, and to recreate shared dreams of a better future for all, "said Corferias CEO Andrés López Valderrama.
For its part, the president of the Colombian Chamber of Books, Enrique González Villa, said that in this edition of the fair visitors will be able to "walk through those historical events that marked the citizenship and that allowed us to shape what we know today as the Republic of Colombia".
But not everything in the Filbo will be dedicated to Colombia, since the organization invited more than 170 authors from 24 countries and a total of 1,700 activities will be developed that go beyond the strictly literary. (Photo)