Many may wonder what the FILBo (International Book Fair in Bogota) is, as its name explains, it is a book fair that takes place every year in the city of Bogota-Colombia. However, due to the pandemic it was suspended, this because it is such a big event, people come from so many places, and it could not just be left to the virtual style, the good news is that this year it returned as never before.
But what does South Korea have to do with this? Well, to understand the whole context, we have to go back to a historical event. As many know Korea had a war that in the end left the country divided between south and north, this event required several countries to support each side, because they needed allies; this is where Colombia comes in, in fact, it was the only country in Latin America that sent reinforcements to the south side and in the end, this cooperation opened the doors for the establishment of diplomatic relations. Precisely this year Colombia and South Korea celebrate 60 years since their bilateral relations began and to commemorate this amazing event, South Korea was invited as a country of honor at the FILBo, it should be clarified that every year a different country attends in order to expose its authors and promote literature according to a specific topic.
After everything that happened because of the pandemic, it was decided that the topic around this year would be togetherness, but what is togetherness? Nothing more and nothing less than sharing, but it is not only to do it among the people we know, it can be with a group of foreigners or with the ecosystem itself, the important thing is to keep in mind that only through healthy relationships and working for each other, is that true growth towards a better world is found.
This event took place from April 19 to May 2, with an approximate 307,000 visitors in the South Korean hall alone. The guest country exhibition had a bit of everything because there is a lot to show on cultural, historical and even current issues. In fact, every day there were different exhibitions such as with Kim Kyung-Uk (novelist), Lee Suzy (author of illustrated books), Lee Moon-Jae (poet), among others. Too much to do in so few days, every visitor could live the experience according to their tastes, whether that be purchasing some of the books that were translated into Spanish, participating in the traditional games activities, trying on the Hanbok (Korean traditional costume), learning the basics of Hangul thanks to the Institute Sejong, experimenting with the scientific stand, seeing covers of K-pop, being part of the exhibition of taekwondo and even enjoying the presentation of the group of Traditional Arts led by professor Won-Min Kim of the University of Arts in Korea
It didn’t matter whether it was much or little you knew of Korea, once you entered the hall you were shocked and if we think about it, this kind of event helps us to live in a new world because that is the culture, something that changes and varies, but as time passes we are evolving and learning to live with each other, for the true success of mankind lies in learning to harmonize each of our visions.
Written by: Sara Varon
Reviewed by: Angie Salavarria