Gothenburg Book Fair launches its programme of seminars to be held during the event, which runs from 28 September to 1 October
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Press release 08/06/2023
Powerful themes, crises and change take centre stage at the 39th Gothenburg Book Fair
In a dual appearance on the west and east coast of Sweden, last week saw Gothenburg Book Fair launch its programme of seminars to be held during the event, which runs from 28 September to 1 October. The seminar programme reflects our present day: crisis, war and the economy all feature alongside future issues such as AI and audio. The 2023 themes of Jewish Culture, The City and Audio all make their mark on the 39th edition of the event, in addition to literacy initiatives focusing on children and young people.
The seminar programme for this year’s instalment of the Gothenburg Book Fair will be announced at a press conference hosted by the cultural institution Jewish Culture in Sweden – it includes 325 unique conversations, interviews, debates, and lectures on a wide range of subjects. 828 prominent authors, researchers, opinion-shapers and pundits will participate in the programme, including 118 international guests from a total of 38 different countries. The programme has been curated by the Book Fair’s specialists and will take place in the slightly more peaceful surroundings of level two at Gothenburg’s Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre.

“In a world that is constantly changing and developing, we have sifted through some 1,000 proposals submitted by publishers, organisations and institutions to create 325 uniquely composed conversations and discussions that reflect the most searing issues of the present day. The programme will platform a variety of voices and will allow new perspectives to thrive. As ever, the Book Fair’s focus is shaped by our themes for the year. “We look forward to offering an incredible seminar programme,” says Oskar Ekström, Programme Director at the Gothenburg Book Fair.

This year’s Book Fair features three themes: Jewish Culture, The City, and Audio – each brings with it a cluster of superb seminars that exemplify their respective issues. The programme also incorporates seminars on spiritual writing, audio narration, mortal sins, literary canon, reading during war and disasters, friendship and kindness, Swedish gangster rap, teenage book clubs, cultural policy at arm’s length, Russia, authors and publishers in new formats, the role of drama in the new listening landscape, male role models, Nordic dystopias, and the question of Somalitowns. Elsewhere in the programme, issues dealt with include being an elephant in Sweden, the aging body, the community of exclusion, big stories and cute sounds, grief, silence, ugly emotions, and a report from the Gothenburg underworld. And of course much, much more.

Spotlight on Jewish culture with Jewish Culture in Sweden as Guest of Honour
Aspects of Jewish history, literature and philosophy will be highlighted across a total of 36 seminars. These seminars are part of the Jewish Culture theme and will present Jewish culture from the Bible to the present day. The emphasis will be on the universal aspects of Jewish culture as they are expressed in the modern day. The theme is being programmed in partnership with the cultural body Jewish Culture in Sweden, which is this year’s Guest of Honour at the Gothenburg Book Fair and is marking its tenth anniversary.

“We have an extensive programme featuring both international and Swedish guests, and we hope to provide a range of insights into the multifaceted Jewish culture and its rich literary tradition,” says Lizzie Oved Scheja, Director of Jewish Culture in Sweden.

Guests featuring in the Jewish Culture theme include Daniel Libeskind, Eva Illouz, Bernhard-Henri Lévy, Judy Gold, Hila Blum, Haya Molcho, Adam Gopnik, Simon Schama, Joshua Cohen, Judy Batalion, and Georg Riedel.

The City
Through our theme dedicated to The City, we want to start conversations about the urban environment – not just as a literary backdrop, but also as a sanctuary, as a place to live, and as an architectural project seeking to respond to the challenges of the future. Researchers, philosophers and authors will come together to discuss the problems and opportunities posed by the city. Drawing upon our host city, Gothenburg, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary and its recent designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, the theme will explore everything from city planning, gentrification, and the need for places for free culture to urbanisation and sustainability from a global perspective, all over the course of 27 seminars. The City is presented in partnership with Göteborg & Co who are responsible for overseeing the city’s 400th anniversary celebrations.

Guests who will feature in The City theme include Aslı Erdoğan, Bart Moeyaert, Lydia Sandgren, Annica Sandén, Peter Englund, Gert Wingårdh, Fredrik Torisson, and Annica Kvint, as well as Gothenburg’s leading local politicians (every party leader from the City Executive Board has been invited to participate in a discussion about the role of culture in the city).

A skilled storyteller with a captivating story has always been able to enchant their listeners. Our Audio theme will bring together audiobook authors, podcasts and narrators and allow them to meet their audience. The theme will encompass 17 seminars primarily focusing on the industry with titles such as ‘What we know about listening’, ‘What impact do audiobooks have on reading?’, and ‘Matching the right narrator to the right book’. The public will be able to engage with the theme on level two of the exhibition space on Saturday and Sunday, in a dedicated audio area where features will include readings and live podcasts.

The Audio theme will welcome authors, narrators and representatives from audiobook services, publishers and streaming services, providing them with a forum for lively conversations about audio and its relationship with books, reflecting the comparatively deep penetration of listening and streaming services in the Scandinavian market. This theme is presented in collaboration with media partner Podplay. On Friday 29 September, the Swedish Radio Academy and the Book Fair will host stakeholders from across the Swedish audio landscape for a brand new event under the banner of the Guldörat (Golden Ear) event – a half-day industry conference bringing together audio and books.

One of last year’s themes, Crimetime, is back in its usual format this year, with a packed two-day seminar programme and two stages in the main venue. This will bring together the crème de la crème of the crime fiction world – not least by assembling the queens and kings of Scandi Noir at the same event– as they testify to their latest misdeeds. Stars appearing during the event will include Mari Jungstedt, Camilla Läckberg, Jens Lapidus, Lisa Jewell, David Lagercrantz, Pascal Engman, and Hjorth/Rosenfeldt. Crimetime is a suspense literary fair-in-a-fair that has been an integral part of the Gothenburg Book Fair since 2018 and is a very popular feature among visitors to the event.

Libraries, media and other programme features
As usual, the Book Fair features an extensive library programme that will discuss the role and influence of libraries in social development. Libraries play a crucial role in preserving the past, provide access to the present and ensure that knowledge and culture can be shared by future generations.

Media issues will also be highlighted in the 2023 programme – the Swedish Publicists’ Association will be hosting three round table discussions, while the Book Fair has worked together with former Minister for Culture Jeanette Gustafsdotter to organise seminars focusing on motives and mistrust of journalism. History, psychology, ideology, and literary salons will also all feature prominently in the programme.

Schools at the Gothenburg Book Fair
Ahead of its 2023 instalment, the Book Fair is ramping up its focus on skills development and special programmes for the teaching professions. The Schools strand of focused seminars returns for teachers and educators. Children’s interest in reading, sensitive conversations, source criticism and AI are just some of the hot topics that will feature in this year’s busy Schools strand. This will provide an insight into daily life in schools as well as the latest research, through conversations that will consider which knowledge, skills and methods we need to cultivate in order to build a society where everyone is able, allowed and willing to participate.

The School Leaders strand will be returning for the third time. The focus this time will be on the role of headteachers and school leaders, and the challenges faced by those working in the world of schools and kindergartens. The School Leaders strand is presented in partnership with Advania and ILT Education. Themes under discussion will include AI in the public sector, leadership in schools of the future, and the free school system.

Book Fair Play
More than 100 seminars will be broadcast live via Book Fair Play – the Gothenburg Book Fair’s literary streaming service, launched during the pandemic. The streaming programme will be announced via shortly. Book Fair Play is included with all seminar cards and is also available for purchase separately if you prefer the digital experience.
Other exciting features at the 2023 Gothenburg Book Fair
Book Fair by Night – a reprise of last year’s hit event
Book Fair by Night is the Book Fair’s club programme featuring bars, stages, live podcasts, cultural round tables and much more. Book Fair by Night opens when the regular event closes its doors for the day, and it is a must for anyone who loves a party and culture! Last year, tickets sold out in record time. The Book Fair by Night programme will be announced on 11 August and tickets will go on sale on the same date. Book Fair by Night is presented in collaboration with partner Arctic Paper and media partner Svenska Dagbladet.
Book Fair kids area and dedicated family entrance 
This year, the Book Fair is catering to kids and families with children, with a multitude of activities and encounters with mascots, idols and role models on offer over the four days. There will be a dedicated family entrance and a special kids’ area with both The Small Stage and The Reading Tent where a series of guests will be reading aloud to visiting children. The aim is to promote reading to children and their adult carers.
Press Photos 
To download a high resolution press photo, please click the link or thumbnail.

Gothenburg Book Fair Program presentation 2023: Johan Kollén, Editor, Sandra Lewinsson, Responsible Schools and Libraries, Oskar Ekström, Programme Director, Lizzie Oved Scheja, CEO Jewish Culture in Sweden, Erik Eje Almqvist, Editor, Amanda Lodding, Editor, Frida Edman, Book Fair Director/ Photo: Pelle Nilsson

Gothenburg Book Fair Program presentation 2023: Oskar Ekström, Programme Director, Frida Edman Book Fair Director/ Photo: Pelle Nilsson
9263 300x275 Bokmassa PTN 2023 6 9262 300x275 Bokma%cc%88ssans presskonferens 2023 Johan Kolle%cc%81n Oskar Ekstro%cc%88m Frida Edman   Foto Pelle Nilsson
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