Sharjah showcases UAE’s rich history of children’s literature at Bologna Book Fair 2020

Sharjah showcases UAE’s rich history of children’s literature at Bologna Book Fair 2020

SHARJAH, 15th February, 2020 (WAM) -- The Italian city of Bologna is celebrating Sharjah as the guest of honour at their upcoming Children’s Book Fair – one of the most prestigious children’s book fairs in the world, which will be taking place from 30th March to 2nd April, 2020.

Sharjah’s programme includes panel discussions, interactive activities and traditional shows which highlight the experiences of the UAE and the Arab world in supporting and promoting books about children and young adults.

During a press event held in the presence of Antonio Buzzone, CEO of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, BCBF; Elena Pasoli, Exhibition Director of BCBF, and Alfieri Lorenzon, Director of the Italian Publishers Association, Khoula Al Mujaini, Director of Fairs and Festivals at Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, revealed a packed cultural programme the emirate has designed for the book fair, which includes a diversity of events and activities. These will be led by a stellar line-up of more than 20 authors, illustrators, storytellers and publishers from the UAE and wider Arab region, all brought together in partnership with a host of Sharjah’s cultural entities to educate Italian and international audiences about the UAE’s rich history of engagement with children’s literature.

Al Mujaini noted, "This book fair is a wonderful platform to be presenting Sharjah’s efforts and initiatives dedicated to making the world of books and reading more exciting and accessible to young readers. With our city celebrating its status as the UNESCO World Book Capital, SWBC, 2019, we have been approaching our efforts and ambitions in a way that can have a stronger and sustainable regional and global impact."

Sharjah will be using the BCBF 2020 platform to foster collaboration and exchanges between illustrators and children’s author, Al Mujaini noted and added that preparations for one such initiative have been underway for over a year.

SBA rolled out an "Illustration Production Workshop" in February 2019 to upskill Emirati illustrators specialised in children's books, and train them to participate at BCBF 2020. The outcomes of this workshop series, which was led by renowned artists from around the world, will be presented at the Sharjah Pavilion in BCBF 2020.

"We continue to empower authors, illustrators and publishers in the field, helping them create literary content that is more appealing and relatable to new-age readers," Al Mujaini said.

Alongside these creative matchmaking events, Sharjah will also host matchmaking sessions for Emirati and Italian illustrators and publishers at the fair venue, to boost networking opportunities, support literary translations, and enable key discussions surrounding the complexities involved in the translation of children’s literature.

Elena Pasoli, Exhibition manager, Bologna Children’s Book Fair, BCBF, said, "There’s everywhere a huge and growing interest in discovering more about Emirates’ illustration and literature and we are very proud to offer the international children’s book community such a deep dive into their wonderful world."

Sharjah will continue to build bridges between cultures at BCBF 2020 with a selection of 17 Arabic – Italian translations to the fair. These books will be available to visitors at the Sharjah Pavilion, which will be accompanied by six book signing events.

Sharjah will also organise three panel discussions that will throw light on the latest developments and achievements of the UAE and the region in children’s literature. These discussions will showcase Sharjah’s innovative literary projects which have resulted in boosting the number of homegrown publications, emerging translation opportunities and the rise of digital content as well as audiobooks.