Life is one big festival!

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In September, stories from many places around the world arrive in Medellin and settle in the north of the city. They come from cold northern Europe, the warm Mediterranean, the United States and Mexico, Chile and Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela. Others come from the Caribbean and Pacific and join ours that were born in the Andes Mountains, in the plains, on the coasts, in the savannas. All of them bring a message that the city will read during a ten-day Festival in which reading and life will be the guests of honor.

2015 is the ninth year of the Medellin Book and Culture Festival and it can already be said that it is one of the fastest growing book fairs in America. This event has been marked by the clear aim of promoting reading among citizens. We know that this is the way in which the inhabitants of the city stay tuned with the rest of the universe and that the dialogue of stories told by many different authors is the key that opens doors to unknown worlds. Through reading, we become aware of different ways of living, and the books tell us that we are not alone in the world, that deep themes such as death, suffering, joy and, of course, life are concerns shared by all human beings.

In 2015 we will have more than 300 guest authors, 60 of them coming from other countries. We will witness more than 120 book launches and our students in public and private schools will be visited by 80 writers under the strategy “Adopt an Author”. For the second time, this year the Hall of New Readings will open its doors with digital content adapted to our local reality. We will also hold the second edition of the Hall of Children’s and Youth Books with the presence of publishing houses from all over Latin America. And as a great novelty, the Iberoamerican Hall of University Books has been created to boost publications of the leading universities in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Colombia and other Latin American countries.

Between September 11th and 20th, the city will live a big Festival. It will be the time to read life in all its expressions and the opportunity to feel the heartbeat of a society that is beginning to connect to the world through imagination that always brings along optimism and confidence.


 

Juan Diego Mejia

Juan Diego Mejia is a columnist and a writer of tales and novels. He was awarded the First National Prize of Tale from Colcultura and the Government of Quindío in 1982, and the First National Prize of Novel from Colcultura in 1992. He is a professor of the Master in Creative Writing at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, in Bogota. Currently, he is the Director of the Book and the Culture Festival in Medellin, Colombia.

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