Bogota’s immense book fair, FILBO, will be showing their love for their favorite Colombian author, Gabriel García Márquez. Every year, FILBO features a country and shows off the best of its literary talent, and this year the country they invited is…Macondo. For those of you whose literary tendencies run mainly to books originally published in English, you might be saying to yourselves, “Mac what?”
Macondo, curiously enough (considering its position in the book fair), is not a country, or even a place. Not a real one, at least. It’s a figment of imagination, but a very important one – created by the fertile imagination of Márquez, Colombia’s darling, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature. Since Márquez, affectionately called Gabo, died last April, Colombia is giving homage to “the most emblematic place in literature,” as some consider Macondo.
Macondo, that imaginary place that is a blend of towns and communities from Gabo’s youth, will certainly be a fitting center to remember this literary giant in Colombia. 3,000 square feet of expo space will be dedicated just to Macondo. Multimedia exhibitions based on the mythical, surreal world will introduce visitors to the Colombian reality, or perhaps the lack of it. There will be conferences, workshops, children’s activities, plus food and music from the Caribbean.
The book fair has some heavy weights backing it up – the Colombian Chamber of Books, the Ministry of Culture and other governmental organizations. Not to mention the famous authors from around Colombia and the world that will be in Bogota for the fair.
Yes, books are a big deal for Colombians.
Beyond the world of Macondo, there will also be encounters with authors, forums, expos, workshops, conferences and press conferences for professionals in the world of books. There will also be numerous concerts, giving words in song their moment to shine.
But you may be asking, what does this have to do with Flavors of Bogota, a food blog? Well, FILBO will have food, too. Chefs and authors from Colombia and abroad will present their culinary works, cooking classes and discussions.
Of course, most of the books will be in Spanish. So if you prefer those books in English, check out a new anthology available in the Macondo pavilion, Was Gabo an Irishman? Newly published, this book highlights over 20 expat and Colombian writers that express their appreciation for Gabo in essays that cover every aspect of life in Colombia. (Disclosure: I wrote an essay that has been published in the book.)
Where, when, and how:
April 21 – May 4, 2015
10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m.
Children: (4-12 years old) COP$4,000
See the FILBO website for details on how to get there, the complete program, and even videos.