“On the border lines” of our city, during these summer days, something magical happened for book lovers and non-bibliophiles alike, something out of the ordinary cultural events that broke the boundaries in the area of ​​culture and opened our city’s wings to the light of its books world. The reason for the 1st Chania book festival that took place from June 29 to July 3 in iconic buildings of our city with a special semantic load for its history and culture. “On the border lines” of the city, the Great Arsenal, the Giali Mosque, the Mikis Theodorakis Theatre, the “Chrysostomos” Philological Association, Fortezza and the Chania Art Space did their best to welcome local and foreign visitors to the festival .

IT IS ALSO THE BEAUTIFUL CITY And the infrastructure of our city is rich in cultural spaces, true architectural masterpieces, which can illuminate any cultural event that its people will embrace. However, it is not only the infrastructure of its buildings, which can incidentally become even larger, if all those that are crumbling every day left to the ravages of time are restored, but also its rich human resources. It is also its natural beauty that inspires spiritual creators and participants in spiritual events in an atmosphere of mysticism, where the past of the city and the present of the world harmoniously interact, touching the pulse of modern reality and the spiritual quests of our time. It is also the feeling that the atmosphere of this city gives you, which throughout time embraced without exception the needs, thoughts and dreams of the people who lived in it. as an intercultural crossroads and a melting pot of diverse cultures at the cutting edge of its history.

A PRODUCT OF USA product of MEIS, this co-organization for the first time in Chania at the initiative of the Municipality, the Region and with the participation of important cultural organizations and institutions of our city, but also with the support of the Ministry of Culture, proves the power of cooperation, when they come together the ideas and potential of people who love what they do are harnessed. With the thought also that the benefactors are doing their best, credit is also due to the numerous project team of this project, unprecedented for our city, which made use of years of experience from cities that have been organizing similar festivals for decades in Greece and abroad. Imaginative as well, in a period when the international political scene focuses on the borders of states with movements of revisionism and the conception of the investigation through the various themes of the festival of the concept of the border and the limit at the intersections of art, literature, history and writing in general, this time essentially negating their existence. The borders in Europe, The borders of history and literature, the borders of the refugee, Crete as a border and Mikis Theodorakis: an intellectual beyond borders, were the thematic paths of this special search in the magical world of books and art.In the footsteps of this search, inside and outside the borders, a whole world found itself in motion in our city with about 100 important speakers on stage, writers, academics, publishers, translators and intellectuals from seven countries of the world, with lively conversations, diverse imaginative actions, narratives, documentary screenings, seminars, quality music events, but also with the participation of 34 Cretan visual artists in the exhibition “Myth: on the edge of the Labyrinth” in the Chania Art Space.Also important is the targeting of the festival to the children’s world with events and original presentations of quality children’s books in an effort to bring children and teenagers closer to the world of reading, giving them the opportunity to meet great intellectual creators up close. Also noteworthy was the participation in these events of young creators who left their mark, but also of young students and students who voluntarily supported the festival.

THE STRONG BRUSHES A strong touch at the festival was also the excellent idea of ​​the readings of excerpts of literary works in the small clearing, adjacent to the Great Arsenal, next to the majestic staircase of St. Mark in an attempt to get the festival out of the confines of the halls and make its presence felt sending his messages through the streets of the city which at that moment were buzzing with movement and life. The lack also of the exaggeration of commercialism from the festival, without excluding the possibility for the visitor to purchase the books he was interested in from the tasteful stalls in the various halls, was another noticeable qualitative difference of the specific action. Let’s remember at this point the unsightly kiosks for the sale of books in the outer areas of the port through book-related actions in the past that altered its image. The only disadvantage is the fact, if it can be considered a disadvantage, that the multitude of parallel events, as happens in similar cases, inevitably gave the bibliophile festival visitor the feeling of missing out on important events, even if he had consciously set priorities in any of his choices.

HE CAME TO STAY In any case, the first book festival gained impressions, with the people of Chania embracing it, as a great celebration of reading, intellectual creation, love of reading and culture. No one also doubts the significant benefits that our city will reap on many levels by making the book festival an annual institution in an effort to strengthen its cultural profile and highlight its potential as a cultural destination. So it seems that the book festival has come to stay in Chania with its establishment as an annual cultural institution, not only as a political decision according to the statements of the organizers, but also as a desire of the people who enthusiastically breathed new life into its interesting events.

Something magical happened! – Chaniotika News