The Nicosia Book Fest 2023 unfolded its literary delights from the 5th to the 8th of October. Organised by the Promitheas Research Institute, this literature festival has been a beacon for book lovers since its inception in 2016.
This year’s NBF owed its success to the generous support of various institutions and private organisations. The Municipality of Strovolos, the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Culture, the Press and Information Office, the Cyprus Youth Council, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, the Organisation of European Programmes and Cultural Relations and the transform! europe network all played key roles.
The heart of the festival came alive on 7 and 8 October in the transformed Akropolis Park, which became a vibrant open-air book market and a hub for cultural exchange and creativity. With four themed stages, the festival featured 63 presentations and performances by 187 authors, artists, intellectuals and literary luminaries. The event was further enriched by six music and arts performances, including a remarkable tribute concert to the great poet Nazim Hikmet.
Open from 10:00 am to 22:00 pm on both days, the Nicosia Book Fest attracted over 12,000 visitors. It welcomed a wide range of participating organisations, including 5 educational institutions, 13 bookshops, 20 publishing houses and 12 book-related organisations. Visitors had the opportunity to explore and purchase over 30,000 books.
An innovative feature of this year’s festival was the collaboration with transform! europe, which provided financial support, co-organised events and actively participated in the programme by staffing a stand with publications from the network and its member organisations. On 5 October, the transform! yearbook, an annual academic journal, was launched at the University of Cyprus. During the event, Tatiana Moutinho, facilitator of the “Cooperation Strategies for Southern Europe” programme at transform! europe, presented the transform! network and its activities, focusing on print and digital publications. Kimon Markatos, member of the transform! yearbook Editorial Board, presented the 2023 yearbook, while Haris Golemis, Chief Editor of the transform! yearbook gave a general presentation on the aims and history of the yearbook and spoke about the last conference in Athens, highlighting in particular the roundtable discussion on “The Left in Government and the State”.
One of the highlights of the festival was the special delegation from China, this year’s country of honour. Through engaging events and an exhibition pavilion, the festival introduced Chinese literature and culture to Cypriot audiences and fostered collaboration between the two countries. The Chinese thematic tribute included discussions and cultural exchanges with Cypriot and Chinese writers and artists, such as an exhibition entitled “A Comprehensive Collection of Ancient Chinese Paintings” or the “China-Cyprus Civilization Exchange Forum”.
The festival was extensively covered by five media sponsors, ensuring a wide audience through TV and radio spots, newspaper advertisements and online promotions. Festival representatives also appeared on TV and radio shows, while all TV channels featured statements and compelling footage from the festival during their prime time news and related programmes on both days of the festival.
The Nicosia Book Fest provided a vibrant platform for the reading public to interact with creators and engage in insightful discussions. This year, it offered a unique exploration of Chinese culture, thanks to the contributions of eminent Chinese writers and artists. With increased attendance and positive feedback, Nicosia Book Fest 2023 was a resounding success, promising continuous improvement and future editions that will capture the hearts and minds of literature lovers.