Guest of Honour


Visitors of the 13th International Thessaloniki Book Fair will have the opportunity to take a journey into the History, the Arts and the Civilization of Russia. In the framework of the agreement between the two countries, which was finalized in last year’s TIBF and which anticipated the proclamation of 2016 as Greece-Russia year, Russia participates in the 13th Book Fair as guest of honour, at a central space of 500m² in the Fair. Discussions with authors, roundtables, book presentations, lectures, poetry evenings, film screenings, exhibitions, events in collaboration with Russia’s most important museums, educational language and translation programs, events for young adults and children will accompany this tribute to Russia.

The program that will be presented by the guest of honour Russia entails multiple types of events, in order to depict the cultural profile and the bonds not only in relation to Books but also in the fields of Art and Education, offering a panorama of the contemporary cultural reality of a great country. Moreover, the existing or possible relations to Greece’s cultural life will be accentuated, whether regarding the funding of the translation and publication of Russian books into Greek or the contemporary publishing activity of Russian monasteries on Mt Athos.

Find the detailed program of "Guest of Honour-Russia" in the following link (Greek-Russian-English):

In particular, the main thematic areas to be presented are the following:

Publications – Literary topics

  • Russia will inaugurate it’s participation to the 13th TIBF with a lecture on Russian Avant-Garde Literature. The speaker is Oleg Lekmanov, Doctor of Philology, professor in the Department of Philology of the National Research University ‘Higher School of Economic and professor of the Russian State University for the Humanities. 
  • Talk with the topic: Is There Truth in Literary Fiction?, with the participation of Alisa Ganiyeva, essayist, finalist of the Russian Booker prize, Sergei Lukyanenko, fantasy writer as well as Greek writers and poets.
  • Roundtable with the topic Literature in Contemporary Russian Culture. Formats, Forms, Manifestations with the participation of Yu.Lepskiy, А.Zhelnov, N.Kartoziya, R.Liberov, O.Lekmanov, V.Makarikhin, L.Shtern.
  • Poetry evening entitled Cavafy, Brodsky and Others with cross-readings of poetry by Russian and Greek authors. The participants from Russia are Olesia Nikolayeva, Maksim Amelin, Oleg Lekmanov, and Dmitry Bak.
  • Lecture with the topic 100 Poets of Early XX Century by Dmitry Bak, literary  historian and critic, journalist, translator, poet; candidate of philological sciences, professor of the Russian State University for the Humanities, director of the State Literary Museum. 
  • Presentation of the book Anthology Of Contemporary Russian Prose, which has been published in Greek by Fildisi Publishing House. The participants, Alisa Ganiyeva and Maxim Osipov, are writers whose works were included in the Anthology.
  • Presentation of the collection of prose by Olesia Nikolayeva, which is under publication by the Greek publishing house ‘Porphyra’. Olesia Nikolayeva is a poet, prose-writer, essayist, professor of the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, laureate of the “Poet” award (2006), laureate of the Patriarchy literary award (2012).
  • Video projection entitled Russian Poetry, in which famous politicians, actors and public personalities read poems by Russian authors. 
  • Lecture with the topic How Do We Keep The Memories of the Past Alive? based on the fundamental 6-volume publication “Russian World in the XX Century” with the Russian historian Gennady Bordiugov as a speaker.
  • Presentation of the grant program for translations from Russian to Greek which will be an occasion for a professional meeting among Russian and Greek publishers, translators as well as the relating rights holders.

Art and Museums


  • Graphic design exhibition by Ivan Yazykov, entitled Russian Alphabet in Calligraphy
  • Roundtable with the topic Publishing Projects of Russian Museums in which will participate Elena Zvyagintseva, Director of the Editorial and Publishing Department of the State Hermitage Museum, Anna Laks, Director of the Publications Department of the State Russian Museum, as well as a representative of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. 
  • Film screening: “Discovering the Hermitage”, produced by the State Hermitage Museum. Anastasia Mikliayeva, director of the Publications Department of the State Hermitage Museum, and Elena Zvyagintseva, director of the Editorial and Publishing Department of the State Hermitage Museum, will talk about the film.
  • Lecture on the collection of Greek antiquities and the new fields of study of the Hermitage Antique Archeological Expeditions. The speaker will be Andrei Kuznetsov, research assistant of the Antiquity Department of the State Hermitage Museum. 
  • Lecture entitled Contemporary Museum Practices in Russia by Dmitry Bak

Education – Language training programs

Particular emphasis is given by the Russian invitees to the projection of educational language training programs for the Russian language, providing an avenue for representatives of the corresponding Institutions and Institutes as well as presenting contemporary methods and techniques for functional and fast learning of their language. The common aim of presentations and workshops are Russian language teachers and educational centers, which offer language learning programs for Russian as a foreign language. At the same time, the current scientific and educational programs, offered to foreigners by Russian Universities, will be presented.

Events for children and educators

For the young and teenage friends of the Fair, the Russian program entails:

  • projection of animated films, with the subject Russian Literature and Folklore in Animation
  • seminars for educators, based on animation
  • presentation of the procedure for animation production
  • lessons through games
  • discussions with children’s book publishers about issues in the market for this type of books 
  • presentation of educational multimedia

The relationship between Russia and Athos

The relationship between Russia and the city of Mount Athos has roots in the past. In the 13th TIBF the Russian participation presents various events that accentuate the multiple manifestations of this relationship.

  • Roundtable with the topic Russia on Mount Athos and Athos and Russia.  Participants: Monk Yermolay, director of the Archive and Library of the Russian St. Panteleimon Monastery on mount Athos, the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchy, representatives of monastery publishing houses, as well as representatives of the Institute of Russian Athos.
  • Roundtable with the topic Contemporary Publishing Activities of Russian Monasteries. The participants are representatives of monastery publishing houses (Russian St. Panteleimon monastery on mount Athos, Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, Sretensky Monastery, Valaam Monastery, etc.), as well as  representatives of the Institute of Russian Athos.
  • Presentation of the books by the Russian St. Panteleimon Monastery on mount Athos: the first volumes from the 25-volume series “Russian Athos in XIX-XX Centuries” 
  • Presentation of a book about the lives of monks of the Russian St. Panteleimon Monastery, 2016, in Russian, photo albums created by monks, illustrating the history and contemporary life of Athos (published by the Russian St. Panteleimon Monastery, 2016). 
  • Screening of the documentary “Russian Lamp on Athos”. The documentary was created in 2016 by employees of the Institute of Russian Athos in collaboration with the brotherhood of St. Panteleimon Monastery on mount Athos.

Film screenings - discussions

The guest of honour country’s program also entails screenings of films that are unknown to the greek audience, based on the works of classic literature writers (Chekhov, Turgenev, Pushkin and others) or contemporary ones, discussions with their creators and producers, as well as screenings of opera and ballet performances by famous theaters in Russia (Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, Bolshoi) and discussions their with representatives.

In parallel, there will be events by the guest of honour country in other venues of the city of Thessaloniki. 

This year’s TIBF offers a true opportunity to meet the culture of this large amiable country.