The organisers of the Frankfurter Buchmesse strongly condemn Russia's attack on Ukraine ordered by President Putin. Against the backdrop of the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine, a violation of international law, Frankfurter Buchmesse is suspending cooperation with the Russian state institutions in charge of organizing the Russian collective stand at Frankfurter Buchmesse. Frankfurter Buchmesse assures the Ukrainian publishers' associations of its full support.
President of Frankfurter Buchmesse
FAQ regarding the exclusion of the Russian national stand from Frankfurter Buchmesse 2022
Is the Russian national stand a joint exhibition stand organised by Russian publishers?
The stand is not a joint exhibition stand by Russian publishers. In the past, the stand was organised by the Russian state and offered events for the Russian community living in the German Rhine-Main region.
Is the exclusion of the stand a measure directed at Russian authors and publishers?
The measure is not directed against Russian authors and the accessibility of their publications.
Frankfurter Buchmesse will continue to admit individual stands by Russian publishers, even if this admission will be more of a theoretical possibility in view of the sanction measures imposed (restricted payment transactions, restrictions on air travel, etc.).
Why does the book fair exclude the Russian national stand?
Russia's military incursion into its independent and sovereign neighbouring country aims to erase Ukraine from the geographical map. This is an unprecedented event in recent European history and it requires a clear unambiguous stance.
The Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine represents an attack on fundamental rights as laid down in the Declaration of Human Rights. It is currently accompanied by the repression and persecution of oppositional voices in the Russian Federation. At present, the remnants of a liberal public sphere in Russia are under immense pressure and subject to massive restrictions in their reporting, as well as in some cases even subject to publication bans.
This is an objectively justified reason, which the book fair is convinced also stands up to the jurisdiction of the German Federal Constitutional Court with its high requirements regarding the granting of freedom of speech. The measures taken by Frankfurter Buchmesse are in line with those of other international book fairs and foreign cultural institutions and are thus a joint, international signal to those in power in the Russian Federation.
Why, apart from that, does Frankfurter Buchmesse offer a platform for national stands from all countries?
One of the book fair’s cornerstones is its internationality. The guiding principle behind this is that the fair represents a safe space for authors and publishers from all over the world: The book fair aims to be a place where international dialogue can be established and continue to take place. Frankfurter Buchmesse promotes cultural and intellectual exchange between all countries, because this exchange and the personal contacts support a peaceful co-existence in the long term.
Through their presence at a major international event like Frankfurter Buchmesse, autocratic states engage with criticism voiced by a politically educated and active public. The cooperations with organisers of national stands are embedded in intensive bilateral workshops and seminars. All these measures, as well as Frankfurter Buchmesse’s participation in international book fairs worldwide, serve above all to cultivate the exchange with the civilian population, to showcase German book culture and to be a point of contact for democratic movements.