Impressions of the Bologna Book Fair 2017 by Bahar Eshragh

I am so pleasantly happy that I had the opportunity to visit the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Visiting this Book Fair is truly a great booster and has encouraged me to continue my further research in translating for children. Bologna is not only a site of transaction, but also a home of cultural exchange. A place which hosts culturally, socially, and historically diverse communities who live together in “peace” in a short period of time, from 3 – 6 of April. It is also a place that any newcomer has a chance to meet prominent figures and broaden the horizons of his / her community.

The first thing which caught my eyes was the Silent Book Contest which I had read about in the recently published article in Bookbird journal and heard about from my co-fellow Lorrie Hansen. Most of the works were so impressive but the one I loved most and engraved in my heart was “what color is happiness?”. I am still thinking about what would be the color of happiness and how could we define this internal feeling without entering into Lacan’s Symbolic Order?

Me with Brazilian illustrator Roger Mello and Dora, a colleague from Greece

An astonishing adventure that I had, was coming across the smiley illustrator, Roger Mello, whose friendly and cheerful character, I noticed, is always reflected in his remarkable works and I had a chance to take a photo with him and it was the harbinger of being familiar with lots of eminent scholars in different fields related to children’s books.

Also very fascinating was the pop-up show The magic inside books, organized by the Fair. By wandering all around this show I noticed children books, especially the pop-up ones, could bring happiness to life like the silent book piece of work. It added to my experience to the wonderful pop-up exhibition at the International Youth Library which I have seen in the first days of my coming to Munich!

I had also a chance to help my colleagues in setting up the IYL-stand and I will always remember their cheerful behavior in my heart and am so thankful that I am bestowed an honor to come to Bologna with my amiable IYL-colleagues. Bologna Children’s Book Fair is one of the most fabulous fairs I have ever seen and I am completely overwhelmed by all the support I received from the International Youth Library. Sometimes it feels like your hard work goes unnoticed but the IYL has shown me that they notice and reward hard work!

Bahar Eshraq, Iran
Fellow at the International Youth Library from March to May 2017
Research project: „Translation Studies. Translation Criticism of Young Adult Novels translated from English into Persian“

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