Book Arsenal is to be held this year!About Us

Book Arsenal is to be held this year!

The International Book Arsenal Festival announces the dates and the format of the 11th festival

Despite the state of war, with its challenges and limitations, the Mystetskyi Arsenal team is organising the 11th Book Arsenal Festival, hoping it will once again unite the book, literary, and art scenes in its space, and become a meeting place for book people.

This year, the 11th International Book Arsenal Festival will run from June 22 (official opening in the evening) to June 25.

“Since the Russian invasion, Mystetskyi Arsenal has been constantly trying to support its audiences: visitors, readers, artists, and culture professionals. We are sure that all of us need Book Arsenal, this year more than ever. The festival shall support us, strengthen our resilience, and be an inspiration. So today we announce the dates of the annual festival, and we will do everything we can to create a comfortable and safe space to come together, and to provide a platform to make sense of our experiences. We will work tirelessly to make it happen — a meeting place for books, readers, and authors, perhaps the most important one in Ukraine”,

— Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, Director General of the Mystetskyi Arsenal.

The core structure of the Book Arsenal remains unchanged for our visitors and will consist of two elements: the event program of the festival, and the book fair with respective thematic sections. The Book Arsenal will be held in the left wing of the first floor of the Old Arsenal.

This year, the book fair will be organized in a different way: due to the very unequal working conditions of the publishing market representatives because of the war, the impossibility of organizing their equal representation with individual stands, and the riskiness in terms of safety and security, the book sales at the festival will be operated not by separate publishing houses, but by local Kyiv bookstores:

  • Sens bookstore will manage the Nonfiction section,
  • Book Lion bookstore will manage the Fiction section,
  • Zakapelok bookstore will manage the Children’s Books, as well as Comics and Graphic Novels sections.

In addition, the Dovzhenko Centre will be the operator of the Art Book section as part of its interinstitutional partnership with the Mystetskyi Arsenal.

The Book Arsenal pays special attention to the War Literature section. A selection of books created by war veterans, combatants, and members of their families — books about war published after 2014 — will be presented at the fair.

“Our team has worked through several scenarios, looking for a decision on the format of the festival in the state of war. The format that we offer aims to present our visitors with a wide inclusive selection of books from the maximum range of Ukrainian publishing houses, which, in turn, will help support more agents in the industry. In addition, the cooperation with local independent bookstores, I hope, will allow us to draw attention to the importance of this particular link in the way of a book from the author to the reader: such bookstores, each with its brand, client approach, the culture of building healthy business relations with publishers, and the strategy of developing local communities around them deserve greater visibility. It is also important that such format of the Book Arsenal will allow publishers to participate in the festival as guests, have more opportunities to focus on meetings and exchange of experience with colleagues, networking, and internal professional discussions”,

— Yuliia Kozlovets, Director of the International Book Arsenal Festival.

The Book Arsenal event program will be created by the invited curators. Over 60 tailored events of the focus theme, the literary program, the Kids and Teens program, performances, and professional events will take place on three stages.

For the safety of the participants of the fair and the event program, a shelter is available in the Mystetskyi Arsenal, equipped thanks to the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.

More details about the specifics of this year’s festival will be available at an online meeting with the organizers on April 5 at 11:00 a.m. To participate, please register via the link.

More information about the focus theme, curators, and the event program will be available soon on the Book Arsenal website.

The International Book Arsenal Festival (IBAF) is an annual event organized by the Mystetskyi Arsenal since 2011. During this decade it has become one of the most influential literary and art events in Eastern Europe. In 2019, IBAF won The Literary Festival Award of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019. The mission of the Book Arsenal Festival is to create such interactions between people, communities, and institutions when the combination of aesthetic experience and intellectual engagement in the context of the book enhances the ability of man and society.