May 19, 2022

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in FILBo 2022

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in FILBo 2022

(Courtesy of: Columbian Writers’ Chamber).

Since 2019, Bogotá has not personally tested the FILBo. The arrival of the pandemic forced readers to listen to their favorite authors from the screens of their computers and phones, listening to conversations programmed by various publishers in pre-recorded formats, for two years. After only being able to take screenshots for broadcasts in 2020 and 2021, there was a lot of anxiety about this version of the show that promised to be, specifically, a reunion. It was, finally, in any way.

A large number of people visited the Corferias fairgrounds between April 19 and May 2, which shows that they are really looking forward to it. Many things have happened these days, both good and bad. At Infobae, we suggest a balance of what, in our view, was just to mention a few things. Perhaps some people will agree with our reading, and the next version of FILBo, which will be in 2023 and already announced Cali as a guest district, which does not replace the country, will be better than the one that just ended.

The good

– The people who attended on this occasion, during the two weeks that the exhibition was on, were really waiting for the event to be possible in person. There was real interest in the work of independent publishers and projects related to the book and the design environment.

– During the weekend of the exhibition, the balance of all exhibitors, publishers and delegates was more than positive. Very good sales for everyone and greater visibility for your business.

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– The cultural agenda was more than full, with events for all types of readers, of all ages, and space for discussion about the current state of the world, from the perspective of the culture and publishing sector.

– The presence of stature authors Mircea Cartarscu and Anne Boyer, names in the major leagues of contemporary literature around the world.

– The debate between the presidential candidates, moderated by Claudia Morales, which dealt, among other things, with the fate of writers and the cultural industry.

Praise the path of authors, editors, and various actors of importance to the development of national literature. Among the most notable meetings dedicated to Julio Paredes, Germain Castro Caicedo, Antonio Caballero, Gabriel Iriart, Ramon Ilan Baca, and Jaime Manrique. In addition, the works of valuable authors who did not receive the well-deserved support, such as Fanny Buitrago, Maruja Vieira and Albalusia Angel, who today more than ever form part of the readers’ radar, were saved.

– A wide variety of local and foreign independent publishers. Different proposals, different ways of reading.

– Meetings in different parts of the city, theaters, libraries, auditoriums and bookshops, which expanded the concept of FILBo beyond Corferias.

Possibility to attend various forms of cultural expression, except for book presentations and talks: concerts, performances, dance and exercise sessions.

Showing South Korean culture from the beginning to the end of the exhibition.

The sun of the last days.


Lack of awareness about Covid-19. The epidemic is still going on, and after vaccines are in place, the virus continues to spread. Corferias and the FILBo organizers have ensured that entry for people will be subject to possession of a vaccination card, but over the past few days, due to the large influx of people, little attention has been given to these details at the doors. In addition, the number of people who attended does not guarantee the distance.

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– The small variety in booth 3. It was probably one of the empty spaces throughout the gallery. There were many unused pavilions and the show that was central there did not respond to the diverse interests of the audience present.

– The second floor of Wing 6 did not have a good distribution of spaces. Few attitudes and likewise, little cohesion in the organisation.

Lack of communication with the logistical area responsible for the invited state pavilion with the audience present. A lot of people walked out without really understanding the tour and exhibition that the Korean delegation had.

– The catalog fed very little by the bookshops responsible for the Korean Pavilion. They lacked supervision and better selection. With the import power of the libraries that took command, it could have fetched a much larger set of addresses and different than what we usually see. Apparently, they just checked what they had in their warehouse and put it there.

Lack of attention to capacity control in the wings that have the most reception. Mothers with children, the elderly and people with disabilities, could not enjoy the tour of the exhibition, especially during the weekends, due to the lack of control by the logistical people.

– On this occasion there was no “Book Night”. Many people, who usually work late, have referred to this day. This was not possible by an internal decision of the organizers.

Lack of will and sternness on the part of the organizers to stop events that got out of hand, such as the book signing of Agustín Laje, which lasted until midnight and even after the author received a notice to stop the activity, he continued to do so outside the fairground next to the Hilton.

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– The tension that prevailed between the arena of independent publishers and other spaces, promoted by the Colombian Writers’ Chamber. There have been very few events led by independent publishers and very few conversations about publishing in this area of ​​the industry in the country.

Poor communication when signing the book. Several people who left to see their favorite authors were standing in line to sign their books, but the logistics reported that their tokens had been distributed. Why not let everyone know it beforehand?

Little or no vision of Afro-authors.

– Heavy rain.

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