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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ukrainian publishers are scared to attend the Moscow book festival

State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin under the chiming clock opened Pushkin’s Day and summed up the second book festival at the red square. The program was hot, despite the cold. The organizers were handing out raincoats, fed hot tea and in General was pleased with all the preparation, eliminating the shortcomings that have come in the past year.

photo: Ksenia Korobeinikova

To sum up the festival, we spoke with the Deputy Chairman of the organizing Committee, Deputy head of Rospechat Vladimir Grigoriev.

– Vladimir Viktorovich, what failed to do?

– I failed to organise the weather. Apparently, someone is testing us to the test. To provide that on 6 June the day will be ten degrees – it’s hard. We take our hats off to readers who are in the rain and the wind has gone to the festival. Despite the weather conditions, activities are not disrupted, all the writers had full tents. By the way, next year we will make the pavilions are more stable. Even then the earthquake will be we are not afraid.

– Is it possible next year to extend the pavilions, to expand the space between the publishers, to avoid the crowds and theft of books?

– We are in a unique architectural place, of course, beautiful and revealing, not only for Moscow but for the whole country. Our main challenge during construction was to give the person the opportunity to enjoy from any point of the square overlooking the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Gum Department store and Historical Museum. We did it. We have focused not only on trade but also on aesthetic pleasure. I interviewed the experts and found out that until then no one event on the red square didn’t fit in with the historic architecture of the place is so elegant and intelligent.

photo: Ksenia Korobeinikova
Vladimir Grigoriev, Sergei Naryshkin, Mikhail Seslavinsky and Vladimir Tolstoy

– However, the beauty of comfort, not a hindrance. Is it not possible to comply with both criteria?

– Can not buy very comfortable, nice to relax, walk and enjoy the atmosphere – it is no less important than buying books. In this case, we use two methods of sale: the first is the publisher, the second – a La bookstore, where under a common roof have teamed up shelves of publishing and selling books is only one of the whole pavilion the counter. This greatly reduces the time of purchase, but while many publishers are not ready.

– Do not you think that other book fairs will play “red square”?

– No, each fair has its merits. If the red square we are limited in space, then at ENEA it as you want. Of course, there is not unlimited space but it has a lot more options. In addition, at the exhibition center the international exhibition-fair, with the participation of many countries. This year the 25th anniversary of the CIS countries, then they will be the main exhibitors.

But on Red square Ukrainian publishers had not arrived. They are really afraid, after all, some political authorities in Kiev they firmly told where to be and where not to be. Although we do not mind the presence here of the Ukrainian authors and publishers.

– Speaking of politics – seen here Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky? How to react to their PR at the expense of your business?

– They have their own life – our own. The importance of the festival is free entrance. If anybody behave unworthy – it is simply removed from here. If politicians like ordinary citizens came to buy books and listen to writers – no one will not mind. Any reader is entitled to it.

photo: Ksenia Korobeinikova

– What is the main advantage of the festival.

– Victory of spirit. The faces of the people were animated, when they read, bought books and talked about literature.

For four days the fair received more than 100 thousand people. Why? The books were sold at a price 25% below the store. The program presented excellent: on “cheers” there were meetings with writers, film screenings, performances, concerts, workshops… here Literature was organically combined with other types of art: cinema, theatre, music, Opera. For the intellectual part and the organization of the festival answered three fan books: Mikhail Seslavinsky, Vladimir Tolstoy and Vladimir Grigoriev. They did not cease to repeat that the festival would not take place without Sergei Naryshkin, who helped in lobbying for political and financial decisions. But still main characters are authors, their publishers and readers.

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