Portugal will take the center stage at the FIL 2018

Portugal is the FIL's guest of honor this year; the Portuguese government will showcase their literature, music, theater, and gastronomy
Portugal will take the center stage at the FIL 2018
The FIL 2018 will celebrate Portugal and its culture – Photo: Taken from the FIL's Twitter account
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Portugal wants to make the most of being Mexico's guest of honor in Guadalajara's International Book Fair (FIL), by creating a program, which was presented today, that uses names like António Lobo Antunes or Gonçalo Tavares, and Lídia Jorge's innovation to conquer Mexico.

The Portuguese protagonists and objectives have been presented in an event full of expectation, in the Palácio das Necessidades de Lisboa, the headquarters of the Portuguese External Affairs Secretariat. The Portuguese culture secretary, Luís Felipe Castro Mendes, and the External Affairs secretary, Augusto Santos Silva, attended.
Portugal's internationalization is one of the main goals of the External Affairs Secretariat, and in this sense, the Guadalajara book fair is an eloquent example”, said Santos Silva.

So eloquent that the country is thinking of sparing no expenses in the FIL, which begins on November 24, and it's consolidated as the biggest book fair in Latin-America, and the second biggest one worldwide; it's not only about showing the Portuguese literature to the Mexicans, but it's also a big commercial opportunity.

“It's a book fair for the public and professionals, a place where translation copyrights are negotiated. It's an economic opportunity for the internationalization of the Portuguese culture”, affirmed the project's commissioner, Manuela Júdice.

Júdice presented a program that includes the best of the Portuguese prose, poetry, music, cinema, theater, dance, art exhibitions (which include pieces from Almada Negreiros), and even gastronomy, which will have its epicenter in the Portuguese Pavilion, a 3832 square feet space.

The authors will be the protagonists, they were chosen according to the relevance of their texts, and a group of 42 writers, four of them, belong to African countries, like Ondjaki from Angola, the winner of the 2014 José Saramago Prize.


Other authors include Alfonso Cruz, Ana Margarida de Carvalho,Inês Fonseca Santos, Valter Hugo Mãe, and José Luís Peixoto.

“We've seldom had guests of honor with such seriousness and formality in their program like the Portuguese ones”, said the FIL's director, Marisol Schulz, who celebrated Portugal's involvement and praised a country she defined as a “cultural center for the world”.

With Portugal's position as the guest of honor, she added that “the Ibero-American cycle is complete”, something long-awaited from a personal point of view, she has mentioned, paraphrasing a quote by the Portuguese Nobel Laureate, José Saramago: “We always end up arriving where someone is waiting for us”.

The FIL, that takes place between November 24 and December 2, attracts over 800,000 people every year, over 2,000 publishers, and over 700 writers from different countries.


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