Newly rechristened “Livre Paris”, this year’s Paris Book Fair will be held from 17 to 20 March 2016, at the Porte de Versailles. The Institut français will have its own area (stand F61), where it will provide the general public with an overview of the activities it has carried out with the French cultural network in the Arab world, in South Korea, in Congo-Brazzaville or in India. Over the course of these four days, it will highlight French innovation in the field of books, offering in particular a unique experience of hologram reading with its Lire In Room (L.I.R) cabin.
The Institut français will be putting on a Digital Evening on Thursday 17 March: this will bring together theatre director Joris Mathieu and his experience of hologram reading (L.I.R), the Red Corner studio and its virtual reality adaptation of Sens by Marc-Antoine Mathieu, and Benjamin Lelong from the Small Bang studio and its scrolling graphic novel Phallaina, to debate on the topic of Coding the Book: Reading Reinvented. These digital developments will be given centre stage on Sunday 20 March, with a session entitled Are screens the future of graphic novels? with graphic novelists Marietta Ren and Jung. The subject of adapting books for the screen – in this case, for the silver screen – will once more be raised on 18 March on the occasion of the announcement of the selection of books that will be presented during Shoot the Book! at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
The Arab Spring gave birth to a freedom of expression that has been seized upon by a new generation of artists and writers. Our session entitled What Words for Arab Political Engagement? with Maissa Bey, Hind Meddeb and François Beaune will illustrate how people have rediscovered ways to express themselves, on Friday 18 March. In a session chaired by Mathias Enard, authors from Constantine, our special guest city, will analyse the Franco-Algerian Cultural Renaissance on Saturday 19 March. Authors Zeina Abirached, Lena Merhej, Nawel Louerrad and publishers Mohamed Shennawy and Cherif Joseph Rizk will share the successes and difficulties encountered by artists during a session entitled Who is Afraid of Arab Comics? on Sunday 20 March.
Does the future of the book lie in the hands of the “largest democracy in the world”? This question will be at the heart of our Indian Boom debate between two Indian publishers and two authors just returned from India, Abdourahman A. Waberi et Véronique Ovaldé.
To pay tribute to the fair’s guest of honour, the country of South Korea, Frédéric Boyer and Lee Seung-u will discuss issues of private fears and social terror (The Things That Haunt Us, on Sunday 20 March); and Alain Mabanckou and Arno Bertina will discuss the guest city during a debate entitled The Shadows and Lights of Pointe-Noire.
Finally, translation will be celebrated during the debate between French writer Patrick Deville, Korean writer Kim Un-su and Algerian writer Waciny Laredj (Author, Translator: Best Enemies?); and to celebrate International Francophonie Day, on 20 March, Jérôme Clément, Douglas Kennedy, HJ Lim and the Executive Chairman of the Institut français, Bruno Foucher, will go beyond the cliché of French as a “language of culture” to talk about its contribution to professional and artistic practices.