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Nicolas Marquier, Regional Manager for the Western Balkans at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Financing the Future

IFC, the largest global development institution, has provided almost $1 billion in financing to Serbia’s private sector over the past six years IFC, as a...

Dr Ivan Todorović, Todorović Law Firm

Dedicated Advisors and Tenacious Litigators

The Todorović Law Firm has existed for more than 30 years and throughout that time has demonstrated its unwavering dedication to continuously advancing at...

Marija Stojiljković, Founder, Royal Nanny

Children Deserve the Best Nannies

Royal Nanny offers a wide range of childcare services, primarily through mediating between professional nannies and families, providing responsible, meticulous, trained and caring individuals Starting...

Petar Miljković, CEO, 14. Oktobar d.o.o.

Employees are the Company’s Real Strength

This former Kruševac giant, which has come a long way over the course of 100 years of operations, developing from a construction machinery factory...

Ivana Bogdanović, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Addiko Bank

CSR as a Longstanding Priority

In today’s world, where gaining the trust of clients is the most important aspect of a company’s business, CSR, or socially responsible operations, represents...

Vladislav Bajac, Founder And Editor-in-chief Of Geopoetika Publishing, Writer, Member Of The Board Of The International Belgrade Book Fair As A Representative Of The Association Of Professional Publishers Of Serbia (Upis)

We’re Returning To Writers!

Books mustn’t be an “escape from the present”: they are just a different reality, legitimate and equivalent to all others. Within them live the writers who, admittedly, have got lost somewhere and need to be brought back to the belgrade fair’s hall 1, as well as other places, urgently

All book fairs in the world, from the biggest and most important to the smallest, continue to exist on the map of world publishing, and justifiably so, for multiple reasons.

Regardless of all the technological changes of recent decades that have also come in this area, publishing has maintained a balance between printed (paper) and electronic books. Specifically, following the sudden and somewhat overexaggerated boom in electronic books in the Western Hemisphere, the market of electronic books has stabilised at approximately 30% of total books published. Serbia was rather slow in accepting that trend during those years, but that sped up with the outbreak of COVID-19, for understandable reasons, and firstly because that was enforced. That’s how the share of e-books in total production also increased here.

There are broader reasons why example is important and symptomatic. Namely, it also served to show that the fear of the disappearance of the traditional, printed book was unjustified. It has remained the dominant form of communication with readers. Of course, this doesn’t mean that classic book fairs shouldn’t adapt to new technologies in this or some other way. This means that audiences should be offered digitised content in a more visible way, but in parallel with printed content. That would specifically represent the fulfilling of the basic principle of the sector and of every society: to offer the reading public a choice, based on the principle of a democratic offer, whereby each reader decides on their own preferred way of reading.

The continued existence of book fairs shouldn’t be brought into question. We ought to think about changes to them: form, staging venue, content, depth of messages

The Belgrade Book Fair should retain some of the traditional forms of communicating with the public, but should also change some of the instruments of that communication. It should also reduce the number of programmes (especially those registered by the publishers themselves) in order to improve the quality by having fewer of them. There should also be a clearer division of the proper, professional segment of publishing from all other collectives for which this is a secondary activity, particularly from those that are excessively connected to the profession and institutions of politics and religion. The fair must also be freed from the ballast of everything that made it a bazaar to a large extent: sponsors with products in places where they don’t belong, all cheap showbiz elements, visual distaste and the cacophony of those sounds that don’t belong to that world.

Books mustn’t be an “escape from the present”: they are just a different reality, legitimate and equivalent to all others. Within them live the writers who, admittedly, have got lost somewhere and need to be brought back to the Belgrade Fair’s Hall 1, as well as other places, urgently. We need to open a debate on the state of publishing in Serbia, to amend some laws, to return high-quality literature from all genres to the centre and thereby celebrate education. The possibility for young people to read should be restored, which is now abused by its pliability by other sources of information (that are not educational), cultural articles should be returned to the media and help should be given to remind journalists of cultural values that used to exist.

So, the continued existence of book fairs shouldn’t be brought into question. We ought to think about changes to them: form, staging venue, content, depth of messages etc. But their basic function should be left alone, equally everywhere – from Paris and London, to Cairo, Beijing and Frankfurt: encounters live and ‘in person’ between readers and books. That’s how one maintains the ideal temperature of both body and spirit – and of both man and book.

Comment by Zoran Panović

Diplomatic Twine

German politician Markus Söder promised to support Serbia on its EU journey. According to the German media, Söder is making “diplomatic twine” in his...

Branka Anđelković, Co-founder and Programme Director of the Public Policy Research Centre

An Even Bigger Grey Market?

In the case of workers of the platform employed in food production and passenger transport, the Open Balkan initiative might not contribute to the...

Čedanka Andrić, President of Trade Union Confederation NEZAVISNOST

Increased Competition Between Low-Paid Workers

Considering educational qualification and unemployment structures in Serbia, my opinion is that this measure could only increase the pressure on workers in Serbia to...

Jelena Jevtović, Serbian Association of Employers

Employers Will More Quickly Find Workers

The employing of citizens of these two countries in Serbia could ease the labour shortage problem, but fundamentally resolving it requires education system reform It...

Albania to Utilize Drones in Anti-Cannabis Campaign

Albania is set to enhance its anti-cannabis efforts by deploying advanced drone technology, announced Interior Minister Taulant Bala. Starting...

Serbian Red Cross Launches Pioneering Migration Platform

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Ghana to Open Embassy in Belgrade

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Maserati’s Balkan Expansion: New Showroom Opens in Belgrade

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Serbia Charts the Course to Smart Cities with Kragujevac Leading the Way

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Maserati’s Balkan Expansion: New Showroom Opens in Belgrade

Delta Auto Group has unveiled an exclusive Maserati showroom in Belgrade, setting new luxury benchmarks in line with the...

Peter Pellegrini Wins Slovak Presidential Election

Peter Pellegrini, the candidate from the ruling coalition, won the second round of the presidential elections in Slovakia, securing...

Strategic Energy Partnership Established Between Serbia and France

The Serbian Government adopted a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Serbia and French Electric Power Company (EDF),...

Serbia-France Innovation Forum Begins: Innovate for the Planet! Play Green!

At the Serbia-France Innovation Forum titled 'Innovate for the Planet, Play Green', which commenced at the Palace Serbia, French...

EU and EP Finalise €6 Billion Support for Western Balkans

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have finalised a deal to provide an additional six...

Maserati’s Balkan Expansion: New Showroom Opens in Belgrade

Delta Auto Group has unveiled an exclusive Maserati showroom in Belgrade, setting new luxury benchmarks in line with the...

Peter Pellegrini Wins Slovak Presidential Election

Peter Pellegrini, the candidate from the ruling coalition, won the second round of the presidential elections in Slovakia, securing...

Strategic Energy Partnership Established Between Serbia and France

The Serbian Government adopted a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Serbia and French Electric Power Company (EDF),...

Serbia-France Innovation Forum Begins: Innovate for the Planet! Play Green!

At the Serbia-France Innovation Forum titled 'Innovate for the Planet, Play Green', which commenced at the Palace Serbia, French...

EU and EP Finalise €6 Billion Support for Western Balkans

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have finalised a deal to provide an additional six...
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