adress Minsk, 220004, Pobediteley Ave., 11

Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus

Power of printed word


500 exhibitors from 20 countries — 31st Minsk International Book Fair impressed with its scale.

The 31st Minsk International Book Fair held on March 14th–17th brought together famous book publishers, public and cultural figures from 20+ countries, including China, Germany, Brazil, Pakistan, India, Türkiye, and South Korea. Belarusian publishing houses showcased their large-scale expositions at the National Stand styled after the capital’s Victory Square. Guests from fraternal Russia traditionally demonstrated large stands with novelties. Almost two thousand books were brought by Chinese publishers, while representatives of Egypt came to the book fair for the first time. The Islamic Republic of Iran became the focal exhibitor this time. The overarching themes of the exhibition were the Year of Quality in Belarus and the 80th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from Nazi invaders.

A holiday for true connoisseurs of books 

Dear friends!
I cordially welcome the guests and participants of the 31st Minsk International Book Fair and the 10th Writer and Time International Symposium.
Your unique cultural and business platform has once again united the best ideas, talents, novelties from the world of literature and publishing in the very heart of Belarus, while organising a holiday for true connoisseurs of books.
The theme of the 80th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from Nazi invaders gives particular significance to this year’s event. The works of Belarusian classic writers, which have received a new interpretation in the works 
of contemporaries, are inextricably linked with this topic.
Today, it is important that the thoughtful word of the writer lays the spiritual and moral foundations of human life, fosters a sense of responsibility for the fate of the country, and contributes to the consolidation of society in the face of modern threats and challenges.
I am confident that the forum will be successful, will be remembered by its participants and guests for its substantial dialogue and will contribute to the strengthening of international cultural ties.
I wish you all fruitful work, pleasant meetings and interesting discoveries.

Aleksandr Lukashenko, 
the President of the Republic of Belarus

Breaking records

At the grand opening of the 31st Minsk International Book Fair, First Deputy Head of the President Administration Maksim Ryzhenkov announced the President’s greeting. 
“The exhibition rightfully expands the horizons of book publishing and allows plunging into new reflections, meanings, approaches of truly responsible and committed authors from Belarus and our friends,” Maksim Ryzhenkov pointed out.
The four-day fair provided a rich programme encompassing all ages — meetings with writers and editors, master classes, presentations for children and adults. The books on display were meant to suit every taste — from novelties to favourite classics. 
It is noteworthy that this year, the fair organisers for the first time faced the problem of the lack of space due to large expositions announced by regular participants and guests who decided to expand their representative offices. Interestingly, the Minsk International Book Fair hit a record number of visitors this year — it was visited by over 62 thousand people.
Speaking of quality, it is important to emphasise the decent quantitative indicators achieved by Belarusian publishing houses.

Belarus’ Information Minister Vladimir Pertsov cited the example of 2023, “A high-quality, colourful, informative book is the demand of modern society. It is pleasant to know that Belarusian publishers are able to fully meet this demand. Our average circulation per edition has increased from 2,350 to 2,500 copies. This means that we have managed to identify the structure of the reader’s genre preferences. Earlier, 500–1,000 copies were considered a good result, now the demand is higher. The subject of commercial consumption, the so-called dime literature, is losing importance, and serious publications are gaining popularity, instead.” 

The central exhibitor — the Islamic Republic of Iran — presented about 500 books about its culture and history. The organisers, participants and guests of the book fair were welcomed by Alireza Sanei, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Republic of Belarus, “It is a great honour for me to be among the most educated representatives of society — scientists and connoisseurs of literature. Undoubtedly, the will of states, including Belarus, to hold such exhibitions, to preserve books and popularise reading, to honour and encourage writers and figures of science and culture testifies to the correct and deep understanding by the state of the significant role of books, the influence of scientists and writers on the development of society. This is especially important in the modern era, when the development of science and technologies as well as the transition of mankind to digitalisation, have led to a decrease in general interest, especially among the younger generation, in books and reading.” 

Books from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan were among the most notable novelties. The bright, colourfully illustrated publication Colours of Pakistan — a bilingual coffee table masterpiece in English and Russian showcasing the vivid hues of Pakistan’s heritage, culture, and natural beauty — was presented by Ambassador of Pakistan to Belarus Sajjad Haider Khan. “The publication will inspire residents of Belarus to visit our country. Each page will send a reader on a journey capable of telling about this unique state with love and in detail. Here you can see everything — from the high mountain peaks of the Himalayas and the Karakoram in the north to the serene beaches of the Arabian Sea and the Thar Desert in the south, from the ruins of civilisations to the bustling bazaars of the ancient cities of Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi,” told the Ambassador in his speech.  

Nothing is forgotten 

  Valery Tolkachev, Head of the Investigative Group for the investigation of the criminal case into the genocide of the Belarusian people during the Great Patriotic War, explained the popularity of historical publications among readers. He spoke about the concept that the authors adhered to when preparing the Genocide of the Belarusian People series, which sold 20 thousand copies, “The main thing for us is accuracy. The publications are based on the facts, not on allegations. They include excerpts from the testimony of eye-witnesses, beholders of those events, and archival data. Thus, in 2022, the project became the winner of the National Competition The Art of the Book. In 2023, it received the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Book Fair. We are proud of that because it was created by the staff of the General Prosecutor’s Office.” Joint projects of the Ministry of Justice, the General Prosecutor’s Office and BELTA were unveiled at the exhibition. The publication Archives. Nothing but the Truth presents newly discovered archival materials testifying to the crimes of the Nazis and their accomplices against the civilian population in the occupied territory of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic during the Great Patriotic War. The book Last Witnesses encompasses the stories of young prisoners of Nazi concentration camps recorded during the investigation of the genocide of the Belarusian people by the General Prosecutor’s Office. 

In the top of preferences

Experts have noted the public interest in publications related to political processes and the history of our country.

Thus, one of the most interesting series displayed at the exhibition is considered to be The Taste of Colour Revolutions. The three publications included in the series contain the vision of this phenomenon by leading political scientists, analysts and publicists from more than 20 countries of the world. The colour revolutions techniques honed in dozens of other countries proved to be untenable in Belarus. Why? This question was answered by the experts who worked on the project implementation. The series of books was prepared by the EcooM Analytical Centre in liaison with the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House. 

According to the director of the centre, Sergei Musiyenko, the books have literally gone to the people, “The popularity with the audience is understandable. The texts, the design, the visualisation are all at the highest level. The world’s best authors, from Australia to Vietnam, worked on the publications. What gives them special value is their independent view — it has made the project unique.” 
The book We Know Them, We are Proud of Them! by Irina Ovsepyan, a journalist of the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House, is based on the project published in the newspaper SB. Belarus Segodnya. Now there are prospects for the second volume of the book, the author has shared, “These are the fruits of our joint work with artist Oleg Karpovich. Our task was to show the cultural and artistic figures that our country is proud of, through the prism of their biography and the era they lived in. And they lived in the 20th century. It was a terrible, bloody and at the same time grandiose time — time of the greatest tragedies, collapse and major breakthroughs. We want the reader to love our characters as much as we love them.”   
Columnist of the newspaper SB. Belarus Segodnya Political Information Department Andrei Mukovozchik unveiled two premières at the fair. They are different in content, yet neither of them will leave anyone indifferent. According to the author, The Agitator’s Notebook is actually a desk book for the ideological vertical. The second novelty is Fugitive and Funny. The author has confessed that this book is an attempt to laugh at once painful past. 
The exhibition also showcased a captivating book Conversations about the Future, which Doesn’t Exist Yet. Russia and the World in the XXI Century. The authors compilers — Russian journalist and media manager Andrei Bystritsky and Iranian scientist and diplomat Mehdi Sanaei — gathered Russian intellectuals of different beliefs and schools as interlocutors to discuss the problems of the future.
Belarusian publishers presented other significant novelties of the year — fresh volumes of memoirs by People’s Writer of Belarus Nikolai Cherginets Difficult Roads of Life, long-awaited reprints of Belarusian literature classics, and more. 
Russian publishers arranged over 40 events at the fair — presentations, discussions, and meet the artist sessions. The exhibition also featured the award ceremony of the winner of the 63rd National Competition The Art of the Book, where 150+ books from 35 publishing houses contended for the prize.

At the 63rd National Competition The Art of the Book, publications of the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House staff won awards 

The publication The Taste of Colour Revolutions, created by the EcooM Analytical Centre in co-operation with the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House, received the Grand Prix of the competition in the Triumph nomination, the Big Golden Folio badge of honour and the Francysk Skaryna honorary diploma. 
Maksim Shnip, Head of Illustration Department at the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House, became the best book designer in the Mastery individual nomination. 
Andrei Mukovozchik was awarded the first degree diploma in the LIT–Format nomination for the books What to Teach Children and What to Teach Adults published by the Belarus Publishing House. 

During the award ceremony of the winners of the 63rd National Competition ‘The Art of the Book’. In the photo, left to right: Mikhail Borozna, Rector of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, Sergei Musiyenko, Director of the EcooM Analytical Centre, Maksim Shnip, Head of Illustration Department at the Belarus Segodnya Publishing House, Igor Malanyak, Director of the Yakub Kolas Polygraph Plant, Igor Buzovsky, Deputy Minister of Information. 

An agreement signing ceremony between the Mastatskaya Litaratura Publishing House and the China International Publishing Group (CIPG), also known as the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, took place at the exhibition.

Belarus’ Deputy Information Minister Igor Buzovsky highlighted the importance of the event for the international relations, “For eighty years already, our land has been experiencing the joy of freedom. We never lived in peace and tranquility for such a long period before. Therefore, the opportunity to create and to write books is a great happiness for us. Personally, I am lucky to have visited China five times. The experience we gain during the peaceful time makes it possible to build a future, while the relations between the countries, built through the book, open up bright prospects.”