Skip to main content

100-sqm collective stand with stage / Many authors to appear, including Katja Petrowskaja, Serhiy Zhadan, Kateryna Mishchenko 

Culture in a time of war – Frankfurter Buchmesse (19-23 October 2022) will put a special focus on Ukraine in 2022. Ukrainian publishers and institutions will be exhibiting at a 100-square-metre collective stand, which will have its own stage (Hall 4.0 B 114). In addition, important voices from the Ukrainian book industry will be given a forum in the Frankfurt Pavilion. There will also be a trade programme for publishing professionals from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, the awarding on Sunday of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade to Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan, and a joint fundraising campaign for Ukrainian industry members in acute need.  

“Frankfurter Buchmesse has maintained close ties to the Ukrainian book industry for many years,” says Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse. “We therefore want to offer direct support to our Ukrainian colleagues now, as they withstand the Russian attack. As an annual meeting place for the industry, we are especially keen to give the Ukrainian book trade worldwide visibility.”   

"For many months now, there has been no room for 'normality' for the Ukrainian book industry. We are therefore pleased that Frankfurter Buchmesse is offering Ukrainian publishers, authors, translators and illustrators the opportunity to return to their book and literary lives and make their voices heard, at least for the days that the fair is taking place. Ukrainian voices will be presented on several different stages and some exhibitors from Ukraine will also be present at the fair," says Fabian Mühlthaler, Director of the Goethe-Institut Ukraine. "The Ukrainian country stand in Hall 4.0 (B 114) will have its own stage with a professional and public programme in English and German on all days of the fair. The programme is curated by the Ukrainian Book Institute and the Goethe-Institut Ukraine and is funded as part of a comprehensive package of measures for which the Federal Foreign Office is providing funds, from the Supplementary Budget 2022, to mitigate the consequences of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Furthermore, the stand would not have been possible without the significant support of Frankfurter Buchmesse." 


Ukrainian literature, illustrations and trade programme 

Under the motto “Perseverance in Persistence”, the Ukrainian country stand in Hall 4.0 B 114 will not only showcase literature from Ukraine across 100 square metres, but it will also be offering a programme for trade and general visitors on its own stage every day during the fair. The programme is being curated by the Ukrainian Book Institute in close cooperation with Goethe-Institut Ukraine. Two exhibitions related to Ukraine will also be found in Hall 4.0: In its 60-square-metre space at stand G 102, the Ukrainian illustrators’ group Pictoric will display illustrations about life before the war and about the war itself. By making a donation, visitors can acquire postcards and posters by the exhibited illustrators. At stand (Hall 4.0 H 94) Mystetskyi Arsenal Museum from Kyiv will present its stand  under the slogan “Arsenal of Books & Arts & Resilience”. The visual concept of the stand reflects the reality of the war, “Ukrainian art under the gun”. At the Mystetskyi Arsenal stand, visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Mystetskyi Arsenal and the International Book Arsenal Festival, to look through the editions to the exhibitions that were held at the Mystetskyi Arsenal, as well as to see animated works from the Mystetskyi Arsenal museum collection. In this way, visitors will be able to acquaint themselves with the key phenomena and figures of Ukrainian art. Additional exhibitors from Ukraine include the comics publisher Vovkulaka (Hall 4.1 H 101) and ist publishing (Hall 3.1 K 112), which is organising a collective stand for six Ukrainian art publishers. Frankfurter Buchmesse is supporting the exhibiting Ukrainian institutions and publishers by providing space for their stands at a reduced rate.  


“What can they do to us as long as we hear each other” – Ukrainian voices and topics at Frankfurt Pavilion 

Serhiy Zhadan, Katja Petrowskaja, Kateryna Mishchenko, Aliona Karavai, Timothy Snyder, Serhii Plokhy, Karl Schlögel and many others: writers, voices and experts from Ukraine and all over the world will give shape to the programme on Friday and Saturday (21-22 October 2022) at the Frankfurt Pavilion and the Agora – the open space in the centre of the fair. In addition to readings and musical performances, the focus on Ukraine will include discussions of culture, cultural policy and media in times of war, and women in war and as refugees. For example, Ukrainian-German writer, literary scholar and journalist Katja Petrowskaja, winner of the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, will discuss how Ukraine is perceived in Europe. Writer, publisher and translator Kateryna Mishchenko will talk about women in war and as refugees. Ukrainian gallery owner Aliona Karavai will speak on the topic of cultural policy in times of war. Historians Timothy Snyder (Yale), Serhii Plokhy (Harvard) and Karl Schlögel (formerly Konstanz and Frankfurt/Oder) will discuss Ukraine’s annihilation as the goal of Russia’s war. And Ukrainian author, poet and translator, Serhiy Zhadan, recipient of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, will read a selection of poetry. The programme is being jointly curated by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Goethe-Institut Ukraine and Frankfurter Buchmesse. All visitors to the fair are invited to join in the discussions.  


Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan to receive 2022 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade 

The Foundation Council has chosen Ukrainian author and musician Serhiy Zhadan to receive the 2022 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. The award ceremony will be held on Sunday, 23 October 2022, in St Paul’s Church in Frankfurt. The ceremony will be broadcast live at 10.45 am on the ARD television network. Born on 23 August 1974 in Starobilsk in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, Zhadan is a writer, translator and musician. He is one of the most important, innovative and recognised voices in contemporary Ukrainian literature. Comprising novels, poems, short stories, reportage and essays, his diverse literary oeuvre focuses on the time following the demise of the Soviet Union and the war that has been ongoing in Ukraine since 2014. 


Special programme for publishers from Ukraine and neighbouring countries 

Frankfurter Buchmesse has a long tradition of holding workshops for publishers in Central and Eastern Europe, one that goes back to the early 1990s. Another instalment of the successful summer academy for publishers from Central and Eastern Europe was scheduled for Kyiv this summer, but the ongoing war unfortunately prevented Frankfurter Buchmesse and its local partners, International Book Arsenal Festival and Goethe-Institut Ukraine, from conducting the academy as planned. However, we are organising a special programme at the book fair for publishers from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, with financial support from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. 


Special issue of OSTEUROPA 

The academic journal OSTEUROPA (Berlin) is dedicating its special issue Kultur in Zeiten des Krieges (Culture in Times of War) to the topic of Ukraine. Contributors to the 500-page publication present the country’s multifaceted culture, which was ignored in Germany for decades or misinterpreted as “Russian” regardless of whether the field was classical music, film or avant-garde visual arts. Thanks to the quality of the authors from A (as in Yurii Andrukhovych) to Z (as in Serhiy Zhadan), Ukrainian literature has demonstrated its intrinsic value and gained international recognition. Some of the publication’s topics include analyses of the book market, books for children and young adults, and book art. Publishers from Kharkiv, Kyiv und Lviv report on producing books in times of war. And case studies on the destruction of archives, libraries, museums and technical infrastructure show that Russia’s war of aggression is also aimed at obliterating Ukraine’s cultural and historical heritage and its identity. Contact: 


Fundraising campaign for Ukraine’s book industry  

As part of the German Publishers & Booksellers Group, Frankfurter Buchmesse continues to call for support for the Ukrainian book industry. Donations aid Ukrainian industry members in acute need. For more information: