South American nation Bolivia will feature as the theme country at the 40th International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) starting early next year and the organisers will pay tribute to Marxist revolutionary Che Guevera and mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.
“Che Guevera arrived in Bolivia in 1966 for the war of freedom. In order to commemorate 50 years of the event, we have Bolivia as the focal theme country,” Tridib Chaterjee, honorary general secretary of Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the organiser of the IKBF, said here on Tuesday.
Along with Bolivia, the organisers have decided to accord the status of Guest of Honour country to Vietnam.
A 25-member team of writers, artists and publishers from the Vietnam will be visiting the fair, the organisers said. Though France was initially considered to be the theme country this year, the organisers were informed in September that the plans would not work out in 2016.
The book fair, which saw a footfall of about 20 lakh people last year, will be inaugurated on January 25.
While participants from countries such as Guatemala and Norway will be participating for the first time at the IKBF, representatives from China, Bangladesh, the U.K., the U.S., France, Japan and Latin American countries are also expected to take part.
A three-day Kolkata Literary Festival will also coincide with the book fair. The organisers said that 600 bookstalls would be put up and 50 publishers are expected to participate.
The festival will be organised at its usual venue, the Milan Mela grounds, in the north-eastern part of the city.