Special Statement of Tbilisi International Book Fair organizers
Dear participants, partners, visitors!
Today, when the whole world is struggling with the pandemic, we receive a lot of e-mails every day from people with concerns regarding the fate of the 22nd Tbilisi International Book Fair, the official dates of which are May 28-31. Firstly, on behalf of the festival organizer, Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association, we would like to thank you for your continuous support and interest. Thanks for looking forward to the Fair with such great joy year after year. And since there are so many questions, we feel obliged to update you on the festival plans.
With the massive outbreak of Covid-19, many international book fairs and other literary events have unfortunately been cancelled or postponed starting from March. We are closely monitoring the situation in our country on a daily basis and at this point it’s clear that it would be nearly impossible to fully defeat this invisible enemy and return to ordinary course of life by May 2020.
Consequently, we fully share the requirements of the current state of emergency and believe that social distancing is of paramount importance to the health and safety of our society. However, Publishers Association is still in no hurry to make a final decision about postponing the Fair, due to the fact that we are accountable for each of our decisions to our festival exhibitors, attendees, partners and visitors.
That being said, we are aiming to make final decision as close to the final date of the festival as possible, which would most probably be by the end of the April, after the state of emergency is hopefully over.
Besides, we believe that in the case of postponement of the event, declaring the new dates of the Fair would be most appropriate when the situation in the country would be more or less stable in order to avoid further inconveniences. Unfortunately, the current situation does not leave such possibility.
Also, we would like to take into consideration the project of book tokens for the regional libraries, which is part of the festival and will be held within two weeks after the Fair.
Here, we would like to note that we are not considering to fully cancel the event. For this, we would like to thank all the partners of Tbilisi International Book Fair, because without their support and mutual consent, postponing the festival to alternative dates would have been very difficult.
Thanks to all the partners from the private sector for support and especially the traditional host of Tbilisi International Book Fair, Expo Georgia, who took into consideration the force majeure situation in the country and promised to let us use its space upon our request during June or September.
We would also like to thank all the state organizations that have been our festival partners for many years for their support of the 2020 Festival Survival Plan, we will continue to work closely with them and act on their official recommendations.
Although, Tbilisi International Book Fair remains one of the most important and favorite projects for the whole team of Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association, the health and safety of our participants, partners and visitors is above all else!
That's why we join the call of our healthcare workers, please #stayhome, save your lives and of those more vulnerable, and then celebrate together our shared victory over the Coronavirus at the 2020 Tbilisi International Book Fair!
Chairperson of Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association