Caracas, March 27th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Children’s books, art books, novels, social and natural science books, and books by socialist theorists and political leaders were among the tens of thousands of books available at discounted prices at Venezuela’s VII International Book Fair in Caracas.
“This revolution has to be a revolution of culture, and in a unique manner, an editorial revolution,” said former Venezuelan Culture Minister Farruco Sesto at a forum during the fair.
Over the past nine days, the annual festival hosted dozens of literary conferences, forums, workshops, educational expositions, an artisan craft fair with exhibitions from each of Venezuela’s 23 states, and dance and musical performances by children and adults.
Sesto, who is now the minister for the revolutionary transformation of greater Caracas, said the festival’s purpose is to provide “open access to culture, information, and knowledge.”
Event organizers estimated that 62,000 people attended in the first five days of the fair, and they hoped to surpass last year’s attendance record of 83,000 people by Sunday. Christian Valles, the president of the National Book Center, said the turnout “exceeded all expectations” given that the last FILVEN was held just four and a half months ago.
The fair included 103 Venezuelan publishers and 20 international publishers representing both the public and private sectors. Many books were free or priced at under a dollar by state-owned publishers such as El Perro y la Rana (The Dog and the Frog), the National Center for History, the Andres Bello National House of Letters, and Romulo Gallegos Latin America Studies Center (CELARG).
The government’s featured works included “Feminism and Socialism,” by Alba Carosio and Iraida Vargas and “The Environment in the Bolivarian Revolution” by multiple authors. The top-selling children’s books were “Interviews with Animals” by Carlos Romero and published by El Perro y la Rana, and “Life Is a Game” by Trina Esparza.
The state-owned Venezuelan Culture Distributor reported that state-owned publications alone had sold more than 30,000 books during the fair. Valles said this was an example of the government’s efforts toward “the democratization of knowledge.”
Authors from 15 countries participated in the book fair, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Hungary, Iran, Nigeria, Uruguay, Peru, Spain, Australia and Turkey.