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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

Advancing Indonesian Books through International Book Exhibition

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Indonesia participates again in the London Book Fair. At present, Indonesia is bringing 450 book titles in an exhibition held at Olympia, Kensington, London on 12 to 14 March 2019. Indonesia's presence becomes special. Because Indonesia is chosen as the first country from Southeast Asia to receive priority as Market Focus Country.

The Creative Economy Agency, as the representative of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia prepares around 100 events to promote Indonesia's presence in the exhibition that Indonesia has participated in since 2016. Chairman of the Creative Economy Agency, Triawan Munaf said that participating in the exhibition is an effort to encourage Indonesia's creative economy products worldwide, especially in the literature. He wants the Indonesian literature to go international and at the same time, to attract foreign people to come.

There are specific targets to be achieved by Indonesia in the 2019 London Book Fair, the biggest exhibition for the sale of copyrights. Indonesia targets 50 titles to be sold for copyrights. Chairman of the National Book Committee, Laura Bangun Prinsloo affirmed that the target of 50 book titles for the 2019 London Book Fair might sound not many. But actually, the target is already quite high, considering that Indonesia has only participated in this exhibition starting in 2016. That number will add to the 1,200 titles sold to foreign publishers over the last five years.

In the past few years, Indonesia has always been present at the International Book Exhibition. Indonesia routinely takes part in the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2018, the copyrights for the publication of 36 titles were purchased by several countries participating in the oldest book exhibition. Indonesia is also present at the Beijing International Book Fair. In the Brunei 2019 Book Exhibition, thousands of Indonesian book titles were sold.

The presence of the works of Indonesian writers in international book exhibitions must be improved. Because through their work, the world community can get to know Indonesia more with its diversity of cultures, tribes and religions. Books have become a means of promotion and diplomacy for the wealth of more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia. The presence of works by Indonesian writers in the international arena is expected to increase the number of world-class writers. Take for example; Pramodya Ananta Toer is a well-known writer who successfully published at least 50 works, and his books have been translated into 41 foreign languages. In addition, the writer, such as Andrea Herata also successfully introduced one region in Indonesia, Belitung through his book "Laskar Pelangi" which has been translated into 34 foreign languages and published in 130 countries. Taufik Ismail's poem entitled "With My Poetry,..." has been translated into 52 foreign languages.

More importantly, through books by Indonesian writers, Indonesia’s display will be more open and more readers and lovers of the world book will look into it.

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